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I could go on. Some of these may not make sense or be relevant to you, but I assure you that they are grievous insults and that Rushdie, as a Muslim and an educated man himself, could not have unintentionally included these inflammatory references. The dream sequences of the book seem to be deliberately set up in order to profane everything that is held holy in Islam. I can't see what perspective that could have come from, other than one intended to 'outrage.'

 

http://www2.nytimes.com/books/99/04/18/spe...hdie-rally.html

 

I have found this article which perhaps gives some credit to your assertion. A few of the prominent muslim writers (those who were able to read it) did find it provocative.

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Shouldn't have been surprised by what the result was. i.e. he (and you by all accounts) fully expect large swathes of the Muslim world to issue death sentences, burn books (now that is shocking) etc etc, when they feel aggrieved.

 

Back to the topic. The people of New York have every right to protest (whether they are misguided or not) over something which is still very raw in their minds. SIMPLE. They weren't hurting anyone.

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"FRANCE: 50,000 SIGN UP AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA

Paris, 2 June (AKI) - More than 50,000 people have signed a petition asking French president Jacques Chirac to curb what the promoters of the initiative say is growing hatred and discrimination towards Muslims in France. The main French Muslim associations launched the campaign in March, prompted by what they said was incidents contributing to deform the image of Islam," in the eyes of the French people.

 

The promoters singled out the decision by several French newspapers to publish satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed - images considered blasphemous by many Muslims."

 

http://www.islamophobia.org/news.php/infus...hp?readmore=375

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Shouldn't have been surprised by what the result was. i.e. he (and you by all accounts) fully expect large swathes of the Muslim world to issue death sentences, burn books (now that is shocking) etc etc, when they feel aggrieved.

 

Back to the topic. The people of New York have every right to protest (whether they are misguided or not) over something which is still very raw in their minds. SIMPLE. They weren't hurting anyone.

 

The Muslim world comprises over a billion people. Don't give me this "large swathes" nonsense. There was a fatwa from Iran - Shi'a nutters. There were riots in the UK, participants mainly British Muslims of Pakistani heritage - don't get me started on Pakistan's brand of Islam. And many Muslim countries and countries containing significant Muslim minorities banned the book.

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I don't know if I'm going to be able to adequately explain the nature of some of the obvious offenses that Rushdie presented in the book, but I'll give it a go.

 

- In some of the "dream sequences" wherein are contained the most inflammatory material, the book tells a story of a "prophet" (who is apparently one of the book's main characters) who is named Mahound. That name harks back to the first interactions of European Christians and Muslims, where the Christians wrongly interpreted Islam as a religion wherein the Prophet is worshiped. "Mahound" is the name those Christians falsely gave the figure they believed to be the "God" of Islam. In fact, some medieval texts cited "Mahound" as one of the names of the devil. Giving the name Mahound to this prophet character, who is plainly meant to represent Muhammad (pbuh), is somewhat equivalent to having a character in a story who walks on water, changes water to wine, has 13 disciples and is called Lucifer.

- The city where this prophet lives (which again is obviously meant to represent Mecca) is called Jahiliya. Jahiliya is an Arabic word that signifies the period of "ignorance" that existed in the Arabian Peninsula (including Mecca) before the advent of Islam. So by bestowing this name on his fictional Meccaesque city, he is trying to show that Mecca (even in the time of the Prophet) is still ignorant; in other words, he denies the revelations of the Qur'an.

- There is a brothel in this city of Jahiliya where the prostitutes have the same name as the Prophet's wives. The wives are greatly esteemed in Islam. I'm sure I don't have to explain this one any further.

- In another dream sequence there is an Indian girl who leads believers into the ocean and apparently gets them all drowned. This girl is called Aisha, who was the Prophet's most beloved wife.

 

I could go on. Some of these may not make sense or be relevant to you, but I assure you that they are grievous insults and that Rushdie, as a Muslim and an educated man himself, could not have unintentionally included these inflammatory references. The dream sequences of the book seem to be deliberately set up in order to profane everything that is held holy in Islam. I can't see what perspective that could have come from, other than one intended to 'outrage.'

 

Thanks for the synopsis - sounds like a shit book and I won't bother reading it. But from a western 'enlightened' point of view, Rushdie has every right to write this and not fear for his life (as I know you recognise).

 

It's absolutely clear we have a clash of cultural values here and that's what worries me, I can't see any reconciliation between the muslim world and the secular left in my lifetime. So what's the solution? Is there even a solution other than segregation?

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I don't know if I'm going to be able to adequately explain the nature of some of the obvious offenses that Rushdie presented in the book, but I'll give it a go.

 

- In some of the "dream sequences" wherein are contained the most inflammatory material, the book tells a story of a "prophet" (who is apparently one of the book's main characters) who is named Mahound. That name harks back to the first interactions of European Christians and Muslims, where the Christians wrongly interpreted Islam as a religion wherein the Prophet is worshiped. "Mahound" is the name those Christians falsely gave the figure they believed to be the "God" of Islam. In fact, some medieval texts cited "Mahound" as one of the names of the devil. Giving the name Mahound to this prophet character, who is plainly meant to represent Muhammad (pbuh), is somewhat equivalent to having a character in a story who walks on water, changes water to wine, has 13 disciples and is called Lucifer.

- The city where this prophet lives (which again is obviously meant to represent Mecca) is called Jahiliya. Jahiliya is an Arabic word that signifies the period of "ignorance" that existed in the Arabian Peninsula (including Mecca) before the advent of Islam. So by bestowing this name on his fictional Meccaesque city, he is trying to show that Mecca (even in the time of the Prophet) is still ignorant; in other words, he denies the revelations of the Qur'an.

- There is a brothel in this city of Jahiliya where the prostitutes have the same name as the Prophet's wives. The wives are greatly esteemed in Islam. I'm sure I don't have to explain this one any further.

- In another dream sequence there is an Indian girl who leads believers into the ocean and apparently gets them all drowned. This girl is called Aisha, who was the Prophet's most beloved wife.

 

I could go on. Some of these may not make sense or be relevant to you, but I assure you that they are grievous insults and that Rushdie, as a Muslim and an educated man himself, could not have unintentionally included these inflammatory references. The dream sequences of the book seem to be deliberately set up in order to profane everything that is held holy in Islam. I can't see what perspective that could have come from, other than one intended to 'outrage.'

 

***

 

Leazes, I'm not sure where the source of conflict here is. I've already said over and over again that I don't dispute that Rushdie or anyone else can write and publish whatever he wants. But what I am also saying is that he was clearly attempting to enrage people with his writing and that he shouldn't be surprised by what the result was - whether it was right or not (it wasn't.)

 

Christ what a dogs dinner! Singly one of the most overhyped writers in the English language.

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I don't know if I'm going to be able to adequately explain the nature of some of the obvious offenses that Rushdie presented in the book, but I'll give it a go.

 

- In some of the "dream sequences" wherein are contained the most inflammatory material, the book tells a story of a "prophet" (who is apparently one of the book's main characters) who is named Mahound. That name harks back to the first interactions of European Christians and Muslims, where the Christians wrongly interpreted Islam as a religion wherein the Prophet is worshiped. "Mahound" is the name those Christians falsely gave the figure they believed to be the "God" of Islam. In fact, some medieval texts cited "Mahound" as one of the names of the devil. Giving the name Mahound to this prophet character, who is plainly meant to represent Muhammad (pbuh), is somewhat equivalent to having a character in a story who walks on water, changes water to wine, has 13 disciples and is called Lucifer.

- The city where this prophet lives (which again is obviously meant to represent Mecca) is called Jahiliya. Jahiliya is an Arabic word that signifies the period of "ignorance" that existed in the Arabian Peninsula (including Mecca) before the advent of Islam. So by bestowing this name on his fictional Meccaesque city, he is trying to show that Mecca (even in the time of the Prophet) is still ignorant; in other words, he denies the revelations of the Qur'an.

- There is a brothel in this city of Jahiliya where the prostitutes have the same name as the Prophet's wives. The wives are greatly esteemed in Islam. I'm sure I don't have to explain this one any further.

- In another dream sequence there is an Indian girl who leads believers into the ocean and apparently gets them all drowned. This girl is called Aisha, who was the Prophet's most beloved wife.

 

I could go on. Some of these may not make sense or be relevant to you, but I assure you that they are grievous insults and that Rushdie, as a Muslim and an educated man himself, could not have unintentionally included these inflammatory references. The dream sequences of the book seem to be deliberately set up in order to profane everything that is held holy in Islam. I can't see what perspective that could have come from, other than one intended to 'outrage.'

 

***

 

Leazes, I'm not sure where the source of conflict here is. I've already said over and over again that I don't dispute that Rushdie or anyone else can write and publish whatever he wants. But what I am also saying is that he was clearly attempting to enrage people with his writing and that he shouldn't be surprised by what the result was - whether it was right or not (it wasn't.)

 

Its laughable. You lot get your knickers in a twist about the most insignificant shit. Offenses, FFS.

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It's absolutely clear we have a clash of cultural values here and that's what worries me, I can't see any reconciliation between the muslim world and the secular left in my lifetime. So what's the solution? Is there even a solution other than segregation?

 

As I have said in other threads, the only way forward is to get to know each other better. People fear what they don't understand. I saw a poll recently - I will try to dig it up later - that said opposition to this mosque/community centre is lower among Americans who actually know individual Muslims.

 

"Segregation" will only confirm the feelings of "them against us" that I spoke about in an earlier post where I explained the origin of Islamism. We have to work together. And that's what's ironic about this blow-up - Muslims who are actually trying to work to improve community relations are facing backlash. That's the kind of thing that leads to young people saying "what's the use?" and turning to extremism.

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Muslims who are tryimg to improve community relations would've stepped back and said, wait a minute perhaps building an islamic centre of any kind 200 yards from ground zero is not a good idea at this time. You don't have to be a mental giant to work that one out. Improving community relations would be best served by the muslims opting to build it on another site further away and acknowledging the sensitivity. They could then be seen to take the moral high ground.

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Muslims who are tryimg to improve community relations would've stepped back and said, wait a minute perhaps building an islamic centre of any kind 200 yards from ground zero is not a good idea at this time. You don't have to be a mental giant to work that one out. Improving community relations would be best served by the muslims opting to build it on another site further away and acknowledging the sensitivity. They could then be seen to take the moral high ground.

 

I agree.

 

Isn't it interesting, the way this parallels the Rushdie issue? Rushdie did something that some of us found to be offensive and 'insensitive' to use your word. Muslims reacted negatively (and I'm not talking about the violence here, which is always unwarranted.) These Cordoba Group fellows are doing something that some people find to be offensive and insensitive. Those people reacted negatively. Why is it that we're 'getting our knickers in a twist about the most insignificant shit' but they're justified?

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The Cordoba Group have the best of intentions. Rushdie's intention was clearly to offend. That's the real difference.

 

Your reference to 9/11 is irrelevant as nothing about a cultural centre being built should - for reasonable people - evoke memories of that event. Should we ban kebab stands for two blocks around Ground Zero because the Muslims who ran them bombed the WTC? Maybe we should erect a barrier that keeps out all Muslims from coming within two blocks of the site, since the sight of them might be 'insensitive.' Maybe you forget that Muslims were killed at the WTC as well. "Freedom of religion - just not in my backyard." Is that it?

 

I utterly reject the idea that the construction of this cultural centre is 'insensitive.' Because people who called themselves Muslims killed people, we should ban them from building their houses of worship nearby? Because some Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, we should ban sushi shops in Hawaii? Slippery slope time.

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From http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/

 

Regarding EDL protests in England:

 

"What is in fact needed is for the Public Order Act to be amended to allow the banning not just of marches but also of static protests"

 

 

On Richard Dawkins:

 

"Unfortunately, accusations of racism and Islamophobia haven't had the slightest restraining effect on Dawkins."

 

 

On FOE march:

 

"There is a clear danger that actions such as the Freedom of Speech rally give the extreme Right a cloak of legitimacy."

 

"The organisers of the protest for "freedom of expression" in Trafalgar Square last Saturday claimed to be standing up for free speech after the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed in Denmark. But what they were really doing was standing up for their rights to insult and offend Muslims, and increase Islamophobia in Britain."

 

 

Peter Tatchell is branded an Islamophobe/BNP apologist for giving a speech at a rally for freedom of speech, and there's plenty on the various cartoons and material that should be banned as it is 'Islamophobic'.

 

They also have 2500 articles on 'resisting Islamophobia' which includes counter protests to the NY one and examples of support for the Muslim community in the U.S.

 

As Alex has already said, citing examples were people cry islamophobia incorrectly in no way proves islamophobia isn't a problem.

 

I could pick out examples of people using the racism card incorrectly too. I wouldn't then make the illogical leap that racism isn't a problem at all.

Edited by Happy Face
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It's absolutely clear we have a clash of cultural values here and that's what worries me, I can't see any reconciliation between the muslim world and the secular left in my lifetime. So what's the solution? Is there even a solution other than segregation?

 

As I have said in other threads, the only way forward is to get to know each other better. People fear what they don't understand. I saw a poll recently - I will try to dig it up later - that said opposition to this mosque/community centre is lower among Americans who actually know individual Muslims.

 

I just think that's naive. When two culture are diametrically opposed, there will always be conflict by definition. I mean, look at this board, with one or two notable exceptions, most people are reasonable and tolerant people, yet threads like this invariably cause a shit storm.

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It's absolutely clear we have a clash of cultural values here and that's what worries me, I can't see any reconciliation between the muslim world and the secular left in my lifetime. So what's the solution? Is there even a solution other than segregation?

 

As I have said in other threads, the only way forward is to get to know each other better. People fear what they don't understand. I saw a poll recently - I will try to dig it up later - that said opposition to this mosque/community centre is lower among Americans who actually know individual Muslims.

 

I just think that's naive. When two culture are diametrically opposed, there will always be conflict by definition. I mean, look at this board, with one or two notable exceptions, most people are reasonable and tolerant people, yet threads like this invariably cause a shit storm.

 

I think I've said before that I think the voluntary segregation by too many Pakistani immigrants into places like Blackburn and Bradford is a problem in the UK. I think the way West Indians have more or less integrated into the UK in the last 30 years (with some reservations) should show that it is possible for culture clashes to work but I think the underlying key to that integration was willingness to mix socially and sexually. This is where the problem with a lot of Muslims comes to a head imo.

 

Of course there are some who are willing to mix - as I've said before I worked with a Turkish lad until recently who is very Muslim lite but I still see big barriers in some areas as I've mentioned.

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As Alex has already said, citing examples were people cry islamophobia incorrectly in no way proves islamophobia isn't a problem.

 

I could pick out examples of people using the racism card incorrectly too. I wouldn't then make the illogical leap that racism isn't a problem at all.

 

Racism is a bad parallel to cite because it is completely immoral to be prejudiced against someone because of their genetics or skin colour.

 

This is the difference, because Islam does warrant legitimate criticism at times, people crying islamophobia incorrectly (as they have done in large numbers regarding various issues) has meant it is now taboo to criticise/discuss/satirize said religion, and this does not apply to other religions.

 

Hence my dislike of the term Islamophobia in general. That's it, if you disagree on that and haven't noticed that Islam is treated differently in terms of censorship to other religions, then we will have to agree to disagree.

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It's absolutely clear we have a clash of cultural values here and that's what worries me, I can't see any reconciliation between the muslim world and the secular left in my lifetime. So what's the solution? Is there even a solution other than segregation?

 

As I have said in other threads, the only way forward is to get to know each other better. People fear what they don't understand. I saw a poll recently - I will try to dig it up later - that said opposition to this mosque/community centre is lower among Americans who actually know individual Muslims.

 

I just think that's naive. When two culture are diametrically opposed, there will always be conflict by definition. I mean, look at this board, with one or two notable exceptions, most people are reasonable and tolerant people, yet threads like this invariably cause a shit storm.

 

I take it you mean me ? And no, I'm not being paranoid :)

 

You agree with me though, so it must be the way I put it across, which comes about because I'm sick to fuck of hearing about us pandering to them all the time.

 

"reasonable and tolerant" = easy meat dragging the rest of us down with them.

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This is the difference, because Islam does warrant legitimate criticism at times, people crying islamophobia incorrectly (as they have done in large numbers regarding various issues) has meant it is now taboo to criticise/discuss/satirize said religion, and this does not apply to other religions.

 

Hence my dislike of the term Islamophobia in general. That's it, if you disagree on that and haven't noticed that Islam is treated differently in terms of censorship to other religions, then we will have to agree to disagree.

 

In most of Europe you can get away with criticising other religions but to an extent in the US and in huge tracts of the rest of the world, criticising any religion is most certainly taboo - Islam or not.

 

I think this is why a few of the "Liberals" you refer to have went too far the other way - we'd got used to the religious "turning the other cheek" as it were and the offence taken by Muslims came as a shock which led to people thinking that the offence is legitimate - it isn't imo.

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It's absolutely clear we have a clash of cultural values here and that's what worries me, I can't see any reconciliation between the muslim world and the secular left in my lifetime. So what's the solution? Is there even a solution other than segregation?

 

As I have said in other threads, the only way forward is to get to know each other better. People fear what they don't understand. I saw a poll recently - I will try to dig it up later - that said opposition to this mosque/community centre is lower among Americans who actually know individual Muslims.

 

I just think that's naive. When two culture are diametrically opposed, there will always be conflict by definition. I mean, look at this board, with one or two notable exceptions, most people are reasonable and tolerant people, yet threads like this invariably cause a shit storm.

 

I don't understand where you are getting the idea that our cultures are "diametrically opposed." Are we opposed because some idiot with a doctorate wrote a book called "The Clash of Civilisations"?

 

Islamic and Western culture have influenced each other since the 7th century AD. Our histories, while not intertwined, have always had more than a nodding acquaintance. It is only in the last century or so that this notion of "us vs. them" has developed, and that is because of unfortunate factors on both sides. You see us as primitive. We see you as imperialist. Maybe both of us are right to an extent. But we have to put that aside.

 

NJS brings up a brilliant point about the segregation of Muslim immigrants. From your perspective, you say "They keep to themselves. They don't want to integrate into our society. Why should we make the effort?" But we say "They don't approve of us or our culture. They don't want us to integrate into their society. Why should we make the effort?" Both sides must make the effort.

 

This is why the minaret ban, the veil ban, the effort to stop this community centre are such damaging events and why they must be stopped. What message can these actions possibly send other than "we don't want you, stay out"? What effect will that have on people who came looking for a new future away from possibly restrictive lives in their home countries? It will make them think that it really is "us vs. them" and it will make them easy prey for people who want to recruit based on that mentality.

 

But from our side, we have to realise that this is the 21st century and that it may be time to let go of some of the old ways and adapt to a new society. Sharia is a relic of the 7th century. I have never agreed with people who insist it must be implemented even in Muslim countries - have we learned nothing from the last 1300 or so years? It has to be abandoned. Women have to be given full and equal rights. The Prophet was a champion of women's rights in his own time and Islam vastly improved on their pre-Islamic status. But little has changed since his time. I don't think he would have wanted us to keep things the way they were, but to continue to strive to better our society.

 

The best way for these changes to be made is more intermingling and more commonality. It's a lot harder to hate someone whose children you have watched grow up, with whom you take the bus to work, with whom you share bullshit NUFC rumours that someone texted you. We have to make the effort - but so do you. We have to learn about each other - did you know something like a third of American Christians don't even know that Islam is an Abrahamic religion and that we worship the same God? How can you take someone seriously who thinks you worship a 'false god' called Allah? We have to learn about each other, otherwise it really will be "us vs. them" forever.

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It's absolutely clear we have a clash of cultural values here and that's what worries me, I can't see any reconciliation between the muslim world and the secular left in my lifetime. So what's the solution? Is there even a solution other than segregation?

 

As I have said in other threads, the only way forward is to get to know each other better. People fear what they don't understand. I saw a poll recently - I will try to dig it up later - that said opposition to this mosque/community centre is lower among Americans who actually know individual Muslims.

 

I just think that's naive. When two culture are diametrically opposed, there will always be conflict by definition. I mean, look at this board, with one or two notable exceptions, most people are reasonable and tolerant people, yet threads like this invariably cause a shit storm.

 

I don't understand where you are getting the idea that our cultures are "diametrically opposed." Are we opposed because some idiot with a doctorate wrote a book called "The Clash of Civilisations"?

 

Islamic and Western culture have influenced each other since the 7th century AD. Our histories, while not intertwined, have always had more than a nodding acquaintance. It is only in the last century or so that this notion of "us vs. them" has developed, and that is because of unfortunate factors on both sides. You see us as primitive. We see you as imperialist. Maybe both of us are right to an extent. But we have to put that aside.

 

NJS brings up a brilliant point about the segregation of Muslim immigrants. From your perspective, you say "They keep to themselves. They don't want to integrate into our society. Why should we make the effort?" But we say "They don't approve of us or our culture. They don't want us to integrate into their society. Why should we make the effort?" Both sides must make the effort.

 

This is why the minaret ban, the veil ban, the effort to stop this community centre are such damaging events and why they must be stopped. What message can these actions possibly send other than "we don't want you, stay out"? What effect will that have on people who came looking for a new future away from possibly restrictive lives in their home countries? It will make them think that it really is "us vs. them" and it will make them easy prey for people who want to recruit based on that mentality.

 

But from our side, we have to realise that this is the 21st century and that it may be time to let go of some of the old ways and adapt to a new society. Sharia is a relic of the 7th century. I have never agreed with people who insist it must be implemented even in Muslim countries - have we learned nothing from the last 1300 or so years? It has to be abandoned. Women have to be given full and equal rights. The Prophet was a champion of women's rights in his own time and Islam vastly improved on their pre-Islamic status. But little has changed since his time. I don't think he would have wanted us to keep things the way they were, but to continue to strive to better our society.

 

The best way for these changes to be made is more intermingling and more commonality. It's a lot harder to hate someone whose children you have watched grow up, with whom you take the bus to work, with whom you share bullshit NUFC rumours that someone texted you. We have to make the effort - but so do you. We have to learn about each other - did you know something like a third of American Christians don't even know that Islam is an Abrahamic religion and that we worship the same God? How can you take someone seriously who thinks you worship a 'false god' called Allah? We have to learn about each other, otherwise it really will be "us vs. them" forever.

 

 

 

Well fucking said..... :)

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