is islam a religion of peace?

17th Angel

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Have you seen the little piggies crawling in the d
ok, well, 17th, as you know, people do talk a lot of crap about us and if they don't know they'll happily make it up or talk about "everybody knows" or whatever. of course i agree that there are bad apples in every barrel but the fact is judaism is one of the most misunderstood (and intentionally misrepresented) ethno-religious groups in the world. my point was that if you want to look for our bad apples, there are nastier ones than the ones you picked.

now gimme teh dam donut.

b'shalom

bananabrain

Yeah, appolgise for that, it is just that the sites I saw where showing this so, I (d'oh) assumed. I am sure, you know my intention wasn't to misrepresent on purpose. I am sure there are indeed nastier... But, I dunno, I am getting to a point where it is either good or bad... You know? That's very bad... That's not that bad... That is terribly bad... To me they are all just... "bad" Trying to make my world as black and white as possible and get rid of grey... Grey = time consuming trouble. Heh... This donut ain't kosher! :O and has custard in it!
 

Muslimwoman

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"The International Jew" is an anti-semitic book by henry ford which even he later disowned.

That is just too funny. This is my book, I wrote it, now buy it and give me money.

What you don't like it? Anti-sematic? Not selling well? What do you mean people protesting? Hey I didn't actually write it you know, just put my name on it. In fact I didn't even agree to that. Hey I never even heard of the book. I disown it.

Good one!!!
 

17th Angel

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That is just too funny. This is my book, I wrote it, now buy it and give me money.

What you don't like it? Anti-sematic? Not selling well? What do you mean people protesting? Hey I didn't actually write it you know, just put my name on it. In fact I didn't even agree to that. Hey I never even heard of the book. I disown it.

Good one!!!

*bites bottom lip* lol...
 

bananabrain

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it would be funny if it wasn't so widely available still, rather like the "protocols" (not that i want anything banned, of course) except for the worrying development over the last couple of decades that despite the fact that everyone outside the muslim world knows that one is an embarrassment and the other a forgery, both are widely disseminated by saudi and iranian publishing houses and contribute to almost ubiquitous neo-antisemitism in the middle east, which conveniently explain's israel's failure to be eliminated - you see, those rascally jews, they control everything everywhere, that's why we brave warriors have been unable to prevail against the zionist entity. there was even a mini-series based on the "protocols" in egypt recently, i believe, as well as continuing blood libels in syrian novels and on hizbollah TV.

gah.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 

Muslimwoman

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My apologies BB, I wasn't trying to make light of the situation, just of peoples inane publicity stunts.

As you know I live among the anti-sematism of the arab people and I 'have views' about it. Education is the key imo, as with all things. What I feel we need is a respected Muslim scholar to write an accurate account of the Jewish history and theology. To write a book that puts everything into context, we have spoken about certain groups of Muslims and Jews in history and these need to be put into historical context, as well as context of how they followed or failed to follow their faith. I think I have mentioned before that small egyptian children are taught to hate Jews, both by parents and in schools. It is shameful but will take a concerted effort by educators to change this but as with most issues this must come from within, or is just dismissed as anti Muslim propaganda. :(

Salaam
MW
 

DT Strain

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Muslimwoman & Abdullah,

Thank you for your responses. I know what you're speaking of and I should have been more clear. The values of free speech I expressed were the 'traditional' values on which modern Western government were based, and which still exist in the United States. It is true that several European nations now have unfortunate laws that don't seem to recognize the foundational philosophies of free speech. Many of these were passed in response to fear. For example, the laws against neo-Nazi's speaking in Germany, against wearing religious clothing in France, and those you mention in the UK would be completely unthinkable in the U.S. - not only unthinkable, but enraging. I've been in many a debate with people from those countries. Perhaps I should constrain my comments to the U.S. to be more clear because you are right to note these subtle but important differences of late.

Having said that, even the European laws on speech do not approach death penalties for speech of a much tamer demeanor against Islam, it seems to me.

With Compassion :)
-Daniel
 

Muslimwoman

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Hi Daniel

Thanks for your comments. I am sorry but I am not sure that freedom of speech in the US is quite as people believe. Take the issue of the N word. I posted about this on another thread today but it is worth mentioning here. Your freedom of speech allows black people to refer to themselves as *****/****** but if non blacks say it there is hell on. How is that freedom of speech? Surely free speech would allow people to be racist?

I also found this, which I found typical of government agencies:

When Bush came to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, “The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us.” The local police, at the Secret Service’s behest, set up a “designated free-speech zone” on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush’s speech. The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, though folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president’s path. Neel refused to go to the designated area and was arrested for disorderly conduct; the police also confiscated his sign. Neel later commented, “As far as I’m concerned, the whole country is a free speech zone. If the Bush administration has its way, anyone who criticizes them will be out of sight and out of mind.”

I am not sure I would want free speech to the level where people are free to abuse me in the street. Where would it end, would the KKK be allowed to have it's own tv show or the crazy Christian family be allowed into the churches where the US soldiers are being buried? That surely is true freedom of speech, yet it does not actually exist in the US or the crazies would not be kept at a distance.

That said, I do not believe anyone should call for anothers death because of anything they write. If people are insiting hatred or killing then lock them up or deport them but you can't kill them. I feel it is your right to say what you like about G-d, my Prophet, my faith, my gender, etc, that is your view, no matter how much I agree or disagree with it.
 

bob x

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I am sorry but I am not sure that freedom of speech in the US is quite as people believe. Take the issue of the N word. I posted about this on another thread today but it is worth mentioning here. Your freedom of speech allows black people to refer to themselves as *****/****** but if non blacks say it there is hell on.
Regardless of who uses the N word, nobody is ever sent to prison or otherwise prosecuted for it. What happens is when people say offensive things, other people say hostile things about them in reply. That is freedom of speech: you or I can freely say anything idiotic that comes to our minds, and then I or you can freely call the other an idiot in response. People who make racially insulting remarks often lose their jobs over it, particularly if their job is to speak to the public: well of course, their employees have perfect freedom to employ or not employ those whom they agree or disagree with.

The Neel case that you cite, on the other hand, represents a classic case of violation of free-speech rights: governmental interference with speech. You will be pleased to know that this resulted in a hefty financial judgment against the police department.

"That said, I do not believe anyone should call for anothers death because of anything they write. If people are insiting hatred or killing then lock them up or deport them but you can't kill them. I feel it is your right to say what you like about G-d, my Prophet, my faith, my gender, etc, that is your view, no matter how much I agree or disagree with it."
I am pleased to see that you take this view. We got off to a very bad start with each other on that other thread, but can we try to start over?
 

Muslimwoman

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Regardless of who uses the N word, nobody is ever sent to prison or otherwise prosecuted for it. What happens is when people say offensive things, other people say hostile things about them in reply. That is freedom of speech: you or I can freely say anything idiotic that comes to our minds, and then I or you can freely call the other an idiot in response. People who make racially insulting remarks often lose their jobs over it, particularly if their job is to speak to the public: well of course, their employees have perfect freedom to employ or not employ those whom they agree or disagree with.

My comments came from watching some you tube films about the chap from Sienfeld that went a bit nuts and started using the N word on stage. He was publicly shamed and had to apologise. Then I watched a film of an old friend of his, a black comedian, who said because of this incident he is now a reformed N word user and that if it was not ok for his friend to say it, then why should it be ok for him to say it.

I recognise that young black people use the term in a non derogatory way, as a means of belonging to a group but I feel it sends a very bad signal and a hypocritical one at that.

My comment about free speech was in relation to the Seinfeld chap, if it really was free speech then surely he would be allowed to go on stage and say what he likes and people are free to disagree and not pay to see his show?

The Neel case that you cite, on the other hand, represents a classic case of violation of free-speech rights: governmental interference with speech. You will be pleased to know that this resulted in a hefty financial judgment against the police department.

I am delighted to hear it. Do you feel that this was because it become public knowledge, because surely the government are not usually so honest in policing themselves?

In Egypt riot police are sent to polling stations to stop opposition supporters from voting. I often fear our governments play just as dirty but in a more underhand non-obvious way.

I am pleased to see that you take this view. We got off to a very bad start with each other on that other thread, but can we try to start over?

I also felt we got off to a bad start Bob, so I posted a more patient reply to the other thread in the hope that we can begin to understand each others views on the face veil, even if we never agree, there may at least be some understanding.

Salaam
 

DT Strain

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Hi Daniel
That said, I do not believe anyone should call for anothers death because of anything they write. If people are insiting hatred or killing then lock them up or deport them but you can't kill them. I feel it is your right to say what you like about G-d, my Prophet, my faith, my gender, etc, that is your view, no matter how much I agree or disagree with it.

I think we too agree on these matters Muslimwoman :)

As for the Michael Richards (Seinfeld comedian) incident, let me see if I can analyze this from the point of view I've been discussing...

Normally, a person can use the N-word or say what they like. Commonly accepted exceptions would be things like slander (lies about others on specific matters of fact, not opinion), incitement (specifically requesting or asking others to commit crimes), divulging state secrets, or sometime certain age-inappropriate language in areas and mediums specifically designated for children or public audiences.

So, if Michael Richards was on his own that would be fine. But there are other individual citizens involved in this too...

When I pay someone to work for me, they are on my time representing my business. Of course, they have the right to say what they want. But then, I have the right to spend my money however I like. If I decide not to pay someone for services because I don't like what they are doing or saying, that is my right as a free person. Therefore, if my employee says things I don't like, it's my money and I can decide not to give that employee money any more. We are both equals in the exchange of goods, money, and services and we both have to agree on the exchange.

Therefore, while Richards was free to say whatever he liked, he wasn't free to avoid the free choices of other people, like the club's owners and the patrons, who may decide to spend their money elsewhere. Richards wasn't 'forced' to apologize. He chose to apologize in the hopes of convincing other equal and free people to continue giving him money in the future.

This is much different than a government saying 'you can't say this and if you do, you will be a criminal and punished as such'.

I Hope I have explained well, these differences according to the U.S. mindset on free speech we've been discussing.

With Compassion :)
Daniel
 

bob x

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My comment about free speech was in relation to the Seinfeld chap, if it really was free speech then surely he would be allowed to go on stage and say what he likes and people are free to disagree and not pay to see his show?
Which is precisely what happened. Since after his outburst, hardly anybody wants to pay to see his show, the comedy clubs are free not to book him, since after all they are businesses.
I am delighted to hear it. Do you feel that this was because it become public knowledge, because surely the government are not usually so honest in policing themselves?
A lawsuit was filed. Of course reporters are free to report about such incidents even before a suit is filed, but a court-case by definition is a matter of public record. The police were found to be completely in the wrong.
 

wil

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a figment of your imagination
I went to synagogue that I visit right after that incident. And the topic of the night was Michael Richards and Sasha Cohen...a talk on Jews in the news and how it reflects on the religion when these stars act in a way that the public views as negative.

Of course the talk also touched on the other Jews in the news, the Nobel Prize winners, the numbers in major research programs, in congress, in companies...etc. On how that looks in public views....great discussion.

Lets face it, Sasha/Ali/Borat is an act, Kramer is an act, Michael Richards lost it, tried to cover and dug a hole...we all have our moments...

This discussion topic seems totally appropriate with the original post as with both the answer is...

everyone get down and doodle in the sand...

ye without sin cast the first stone...
 

Muslimwoman

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Thank you for your comments guys.

So in America would I be allowed to stand on the street and shout the N word at every black person that walked past or would I be arrested?

(obviously I would be beaten up by black people but then I would deserve it)

How does your law protect the vulnerable from verbal attack (the disabled, people of other cultures, etc)? Does it rely on individuals or have you got laws to protect them?

What about organisations, can they be banned? (thinking of things like the KKK)

At the moment (having never been to the US) my mind tends to see the issue as one of "we have absolute freedom of speech, as long as we don't say anything unacceptable". Perhaps if I give a couple of examples and you can comment and perhaps I will be able e my mind:

ACLU Calls Government Settlement in Anti-Bush T-Shirt Case a Victory for Free Speech (8/16/2007)
CHARLESTON, WV – The American Civil Liberties Union today announced a successful resolution of the case of Jeffery and Nicole Rank, the young Texas couple arrested on the West Virginia capitol grounds on July 4, 2004 for peacefully expressing their opposition to President Bush. According to the settlement agreement, the United States government will pay the Ranks $80,000.


ACLU Sues TSA Official, JetBlue for Discriminating Against Passenger Wearing Arabic T-Shirt (8/9/2007)
NEW YORK - The American Civil Liberties Union and New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal civil rights lawsuit charging that a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) official and JetBlue Airways illegally discriminated against an American resident based solely on the Arabic message on his t-shirt and his ethnicity.


ACLU of Rhode Island Challenges Removal of Congressional Candidate's Political Signs (8/6/2007)
PROVIDENCE, RI - The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of former Congressional candidate Rod Driver, seeking a court order and damages against the town of Richmond and police chief Raymond Driscoll for repeatedly removing Driver's political signs from private property during the last election. The lawsuit charges that the town's actions amounted to a willful violation of Driver's First Amendment rights.
 

bananabrain

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Muslimwoman said:
What I feel we need is a respected Muslim scholar to write an accurate account of the Jewish history and theology. To write a book that puts everything into context, we have spoken about certain groups of Muslims and Jews in history and these need to be put into historical context, as well as context of how they followed or failed to follow their faith. I think I have mentioned before that small egyptian children are taught to hate Jews, both by parents and in schools. It is shameful but will take a concerted effort by educators to change this but as with most issues this must come from within, or is just dismissed as anti Muslim propaganda.
i agree - and the more conservative and senior the scholar is, the better, after all, they say "only nixon could go to china". ironically enough, it's the same logic that meant that it had to be the arch-settlement hawk sharon who ended the occupation in gaza. it's also the same logic that means that if the catholic church really wanted to do something about priestly celibacy and contraception, it would probably have to be someone like the present pope, who used to head up the rebranded inquisition. but no sign of that so far. and, equally, little sign of moves on the islamic side, although the participation of sheikh tantawi of al-azhar in the cairo process is a start.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 

bob x

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"So in America would I be allowed to stand on the street and shout the N word at every black person that walked past or would I be arrested? "
Shouting would fall into the category of "disturbing the peace".

"How does your law protect the vulnerable from verbal attack (the disabled, people of other cultures, etc)? "
Incitement to violence against members of religious, racial, or ethnic groups is in most states a crime (but not, in most states, if directed against homosexuals, in which case it is protected religious speech).

"What about organisations, can they be banned? (thinking of things like the KKK)"
No. But a group called Aryan Nations was driven out of business, bankrupted (lost a "compound" covering several miles and other property) by a lawsuit after their speeches inciting violence were held to be the cause of a beating death.

"my mind tends to see the issue as one of "we have absolute freedom of speech, as long as we don't say anything unacceptable". "
The constitutional principle is that the *government* cannot take action against you for the content of your speech (of course, many governmental officials do so anyway, but when they are sued for it they lose a bundle of money). Individuals of course have a perfect right to react negatively to what you say. In your discussion of Michael Richards you seemed to be thinking that "free speech" would mean that he was free to speak without anyone else being free in turn to call him an idiot for what he said: no, it just means that he can't be jailed for having spoken idiotically (although the nastier part of his rant, alluding to lynchings, walked close to the line of advocating racial violence: if he had stepped over that line, then he would be liable to penalties from the government).
 

Muslimwoman

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although the participation of sheikh tantawi of al-azhar in the cairo process is a start.

The difficulty we have there BB is that Tantawi is largely dismissed as Mobaraks puppet. Hopefully though if he can influence his students then in time things will change, as they will teach their students, etc and his views will spread. I see no rapid solution but a long term effort to educate will begin to build bridges, inshallah. He and people like him have such a large mountain to climb. :(

Salaam
Sally
 

Muslimwoman

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Shouting would fall into the category of "disturbing the peace".

So what if I just said "hey you are a N*****" to every black person I saw. Is there nothing in your legal system to stop me from doing this?

Incitement to violence against members of religious, racial, or ethnic groups is in most states a crime (but not, in most states, if directed against homosexuals, in which case it is protected religious speech).

What if you are not inciting to violence but inciting to rejection of a group of people (ie no blacks allowed to use our shops or no Mexicans allowed to eat in our restaurants)?

I am trying to understand where government steps in to protect people, is it just when violence comes into it? How much influence does your government have over state law? This of course isn't an issue over here, we just have one legal system but it appears in the US states can have different laws?

No. But a group called Aryan Nations was driven out of business, bankrupted (lost a "compound" covering several miles and other property) by a lawsuit after their speeches inciting violence were held to be the cause of a beating death.

Wow. So people are left to police themselves, even though someone died. Are Americans comfortable with that (if I have understood it correctly)?

The constitutional principle is that the *government* cannot take action against you for the content of your speech (of course, many governmental officials do so anyway, but when they are sued for it they lose a bundle of money).

So if I was American I could stand on the steps of the Whitehouse, burn the American flag and say I hate all N****** and the government could not jail me?

So how have the government been able to keep that lunatic Christian family away from the funerals of American soldiers (I believe they have to keep a certain distance away, yet they have not called for anyone to kill American soldiers have they)?

In your discussion of Michael Richards you seemed to be thinking that "free speech" would mean that he was free to speak without anyone else being free in turn to call him an idiot for what he said: no, it just means that he can't be jailed for having spoken idiotically (although the nastier part of his rant, alluding to lynchings, walked close to the line of advocating racial violence: if he had stepped over that line, then he would be liable to penalties from the government).

My thinking was that free speech allowed him to say it and people are free to disagree. I was just trying to understand why a black person can get on stage and say the N word every 5 seconds, without any media or public reaction, but a white person can't. My view is that it is wrong for both groups to use this word. If I want someone to stop calling me a name then I should not call myself it imo.
 

bob x

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So what if I just said "hey you are a N*****" to every black person I saw. Is there nothing in your legal system to stop me from doing this?
That is correct.
What if you are not inciting to violence but inciting to rejection of a group of people (ie no blacks allowed to use our shops or no Mexicans allowed to eat in our restaurants)?
This is treated as a very different issue from "speech". If you have a business which is open to the public, you are restricted in your right to pick and choose which members of the public you can let in: flat-out racial or ethnic exclusions, such as you cite, are always against the law. Discrimination in housing depends, again, on whether you are renting to the public at large, or renting part of your own dwelling-space: you can accept or reject anyone you want or don't want, for any reason or none, if you are taking in a roommate or a boarder into an extra room in your house; but cannot discriminate on basis of race, ethnicity, or religion in rental properties where you don't live.

I am trying to understand where government steps in to protect people, is it just when violence comes into it?
Speech can be restricted if it involves libel (false statement of fact, not just negative opinion), fraud (in a commercial setting, this is much broader than the libel exception in a private setting: statements which are technically true but misleading are considered fraudulent), or solicitation of crime ("I'll pay you $10,000 to kill my wife" is of course an illegal thing to say anywhere; it gets trickier if the crime is not one of violence, or if there is no individual targeted); and "time, place, and manner" restrictions can be applied, if they are uniformly applied without regard to content (repeatedly shouting the N-word on a public street is "disturbing the peace", but equally so would shouting anything else).

How much influence does your government have over state law? This of course isn't an issue over here, we just have one legal system but it appears in the US states can have different laws?
Very different, and the federal government has absolutely nothing to say about it.

Wow. So people are left to police themselves, even though someone died.
No, of course the person who actually stomped the kid to death was arrested by the police and put in jail for life. Going after the organization, however, is not appropriate for the government. Are you comfortable with letting the government, rather than the people, decide which kinds of political parties should be allowed to exist?

So if I was American I could stand on the steps of the Whitehouse, burn the American flag and say I hate all N****** and the government could not jail me?
As a security matter, you can't demonstrate "on the steps" of the White House no matter what point you are trying to make ("time, place and manner" restrictions have to be content-neutral). You can stand in Lafayette Park across the street from the White House and make any kind of point that you wish to make: it would be a rare day indeed when there was not someone there who appears completely lunatic. Most decidedly the government may not jail such demonstrators: that is the founding principle of our country.

So how have the government been able to keep that lunatic Christian family away from the funerals of American soldiers (I believe they have to keep a certain distance away, yet they have not called for anyone to kill American soldiers have they)?
As a "time, place, and manner" restriction requiring anyone uninvited (regardless of who) to keep a certain distance from a funeral.
The Bushies tried to justify keeping demonstrators a certain distance from the President on the same type of grounds, but lost since people with pro-Bush messages displayed were allowed where anti-Bush messages were not, violating the principle of "content neutrality".

I was just trying to understand why a black person can get on stage and say the N word every 5 seconds, without any media or public reaction, but a white person can't.
The media and the public actually argue about that precise point quite frequently and repeatedly.
 

Muslimwoman

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Thank you Bob, a very good insight into how your country works. One more question if I may.

If a state decided to introduce a law that was seen by those outside that state as offensive (eg eveyone in the state has to wear swimwear to work on Thursday or rape is no longer a criminal offense in our state) could the federal government overule that law? Does state law have to be approved by federal government?
 
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