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Pakistan's Population Converges on Brazil's
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Results of the Pakistan Census are out and show that the population has reached 207,774,520 people as of 2017.

pakistan-census-2017

After hurtling past Russia around 2000, Pakistan has now just about converged with Brazil, which has approximately 207,932,000 people as of this year.

Considering that Pakistan increases by 4 million every year to less than 2 million in Brazil, it is very likely that it has already overtakenthe South American giant to become the world’s fifth most populous country.

population-russia-pakistan

Note that the UN Population Division estimated Pakistan’s population to be 197 million in 2017, or 10 million lower than the just released census figures.

Low-lying and impoverished Bangladesh is more commonly cited as the big country facing the greatest threat from global warming, but it has gotten its population growth under control to a far greater extent than Pakistan, and the effects of Greenland/Antractic melt on sea levels will take centuries or millennia to fully percolate.

But Pakistan might be in more of a immediate pickle (as in, within the next few decades). Unlike the other rivers of the Indian subcontinent, which are mainly powered by monsoon precipitation, the Indus is reliant on glacial runoff for the great bulk of its water flow. Will Pakistan be able to feed itself as those glaciers shrink over the coming decades?

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Demographics, Pakistan 
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  1. AP says:

    An example of how building a wall while ignoring climate change and its consequences is incredibly short-sighted and stupid. Where will those hundreds of millions go when they can’t feed each other?

    Read More
    • Replies: @DFH
    Who cares?
    , @Lemurmaniac
    We in the west have weaponry that can kill people at an industrial level.
    , @VivaLaMigra
    Personally, I don't give a rodent's posterior WHERE a few hundred million, or a billion, poor, low-IQ, uneducated, and culturally hostile Third World'ers go, as long as it isn't HERE! They can go to Blazes for all I care; ultimately, billions of humans WILL go there, b/c the planet cannot sustain 12 billion people.
    , @Samuel Hidestein
    Where would they go if there was no wall? Do you think India has the ability to feed all of them, plus their own people?
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  2. Mr. XYZ says:

    Would it be possible for Pakistan to import some of its food supply from elsewhere in the next several decades?

    Indeed, would Pakistan be able to afford this?

    Read More
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  3. Daniel H says:

    They will be on the march. Camp of the saints. We haven’t seen anything yet.

    Read More
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  4. DFH says:
    @AP
    An example of how building a wall while ignoring climate change and its consequences is incredibly short-sighted and stupid. Where will those hundreds of millions go when they can't feed each other?

    Who cares?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Europe.

    They will all come to Europe.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @DFH
    Who cares?

    Europe.

    They will all come to Europe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @DFH
    That's what navies and landmines are for
    , @Bliss

    They will all come to Europe.
     
    No dumbkopf they won’t.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. @AP
    An example of how building a wall while ignoring climate change and its consequences is incredibly short-sighted and stupid. Where will those hundreds of millions go when they can't feed each other?

    We in the west have weaponry that can kill people at an industrial level.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Those weapons will be utterly useless against the threat of demographic expansion by Africa and some Islamic countries like Pakistan. I mean, ok, we can fantasize about things like just dropping neutron bombs on them to stop them from overrunning us, but in reality that's neither likely nor desirable.
    I agree with AP, it's dumb for right-wingers to deny the reality of climate change and not make at least an effort to see what could be done about it. The consequences of global warming on the 3rd world countries most affected are the perfect argument for legitimizing mass immigration to the northern hemisphere, and in fact you can already see such arguments being made (e.g. there are serious efforts in the EU parliament to create the category of "climate refugees").
    , @Talha
    Pakistan has the same - I suggest not threatening her.

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. DFH says:
    @Anonymous
    Europe.

    They will all come to Europe.

    That’s what navies and landmines are for

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Look.
    The political forces that run the world, the Deep State, the Bilderbergers, the Globalists, The Economist etc are all full-on massive uncontrolled immigration friendly.

    Plus they will not hesitant a moment to turn that weaponry on any (real)European who dares protest.
    , @Erik Sieven
    I´d rather have 200 million Pakistanis in Europe than 200 million Subsaharan Africans, let to lone 5 billion Subsaharan Africans.
    , @anon
    Only good if you have the self-respect and political will to use them.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. Previously the population was being estimated at being between 220 to 235m, so the number here is lower than expected. The Sindhis are a little pissed since they reckon refugees from Afghanistan are inflating the population counts of Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – giving them a larger proportion of fiscal transfers. Said immigrants then come over to Karachi, Sindh’s capital and the country’s largest city and bring their colourful cultural folkways with them. Some of their politicians have called for the 2 5m Afghan refugees (now entering their second generation here) to be immediately deported.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1319202

    In any case water stress is going to be a huge issue affecting not just Pakistan but Central Asian, Afghanistan, India, China and Bangladesh. China holds the most powerful position here due to it’s control of Tibet which holds 70% of the region’s water resources and is upstream from India. It has built close to 90,000 dams there in order to help divert massive amounts of water to parched northern China. That is bad for Indian water security and also for Bangladesh which gets 90% of its water via India.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/china-is-waging-a-water-war-on-india/story-6jqgabEffcatPFzJ6fQ6eJ.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Ali,

    Thanks for bringing up the water issue. I agree, it is a very important destabilizing factor. You can steal people's oil from them, but if you steal their water or cut it off, you give them no reason not to fight. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail.

    Peace.
    , @rec1man
    River water flow from China is less than 5% of Indus and Brahmaputra and other Indian rivers ;

    Tibet is mostly glacial desert, most of the river waters supply due to monso0n rains - falls within India
    , @Lin
    "it’s control of Tibet which holds 70% of the region’s water resources and is upstream from India. It has built close to 90,000 dams there in order to help divert massive amounts of water to parched northern China. That is bad for Indian water "

    That's nonsense. Though most of the rivers in India have upstreams in Chinese Tibet, much of the river water there ,in the order of 90-95%, come from run-off (rain) inside India. Its anti-China propaganda also attempt to migitate the blame on indian incompetence in water preservation/management. If they can't blame the monsoon or hindu rain god, they just blame China for their incompetence.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @DFH
    That's what navies and landmines are for

    Look.
    The political forces that run the world, the Deep State, the Bilderbergers, the Globalists, The Economist etc are all full-on massive uncontrolled immigration friendly.

    Plus they will not hesitant a moment to turn that weaponry on any (real)European who dares protest.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. @DFH
    That's what navies and landmines are for

    I´d rather have 200 million Pakistanis in Europe than 200 million Subsaharan Africans, let to lone 5 billion Subsaharan Africans.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    That's like saying cholera is preferable to plague. And I'm not even sure Pakistanis are in any way preferable to non-Muslim black Africans. Pakistan is a centre of global jihadism and a majority of the population there holds beliefs that can only be described as Islamist (e.g. iirc a majority is in favour of killing "apostates"; you can look it up in the PEW values survey for Islamic countries, AK also had a post about it a while back). In retrospect, allowing the establishment of Pakistan was one of the great geopolitical mistakes of the 20th century.
    , @Anonymous
    Obviously, there are very few Pakistanis living around your way.
    , @rec1man
    Mass rapes of white girls in Rotterham, UK, was done by Pakistani muslims
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. They must have found that one weird little trick that allows for a high TFR.

    Read More
    • Replies: @rec1man
    Yes - Islam calls for high tfr to outbreed kafirs
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  12. @Erik Sieven
    I´d rather have 200 million Pakistanis in Europe than 200 million Subsaharan Africans, let to lone 5 billion Subsaharan Africans.

    That’s like saying cholera is preferable to plague. And I’m not even sure Pakistanis are in any way preferable to non-Muslim black Africans. Pakistan is a centre of global jihadism and a majority of the population there holds beliefs that can only be described as Islamist (e.g. iirc a majority is in favour of killing “apostates”; you can look it up in the PEW values survey for Islamic countries, AK also had a post about it a while back). In retrospect, allowing the establishment of Pakistan was one of the great geopolitical mistakes of the 20th century.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    allowing the establishment of Pakistan was one of the great geopolitical mistakes of the 20th century
     
    Possibly - Britain trying to rule over a sub-continent full of millions of Hindus and Muslims, thousands of miles from her shores was probably the bigger folly. Pakistan is a case study - a side effect - if you will.

    Peace.
    , @Hector_St_Clare
    "In retrospect, allowing the establishment of Pakistan was one of the great geopolitical mistakes of the 20th century."

    You can't consistently believe in ethnic nationalism (i.e. the right of distinct ethnic groups to have a homeland for their group and to live semi-separately from others) and object to Pakistan's right to exist.

    Indian Muslims perceived themselves as an ethnic group and wanted their own country. They proved that by voting overwhelmingly for the Muslim League in the last election a united British India ever had. It wasn't your place, or Mountbatten's, to "allow" Pakistan or not, and the only way one could have prevented it was by bloody civil war.

    Incidentally, there was nothing inevitable about the decline of Pakistan. Bangladesh has followed a very different route and is much more progressive w/r/t women's roles, fertility, etc..
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. @Lemurmaniac
    We in the west have weaponry that can kill people at an industrial level.

    Those weapons will be utterly useless against the threat of demographic expansion by Africa and some Islamic countries like Pakistan. I mean, ok, we can fantasize about things like just dropping neutron bombs on them to stop them from overrunning us, but in reality that’s neither likely nor desirable.
    I agree with AP, it’s dumb for right-wingers to deny the reality of climate change and not make at least an effort to see what could be done about it. The consequences of global warming on the 3rd world countries most affected are the perfect argument for legitimizing mass immigration to the northern hemisphere, and in fact you can already see such arguments being made (e.g. there are serious efforts in the EU parliament to create the category of “climate refugees”).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    {....it’s dumb for right-wingers to deny the reality of climate change....}

    I am not sure that is correct.
    As far as I know, 'right-wingers' are not denying that climate change exists: they are questioning, backed up by science, that climate change is man-made.

    So basically, if it is man-made then (Western) man can be taxed to 'fix' the problem.
    It is a scheme to transfer wealth from wealthier industrialized West to others, via some intermediary such as UN, who will get a nice cut in the form more parasites and more bureaucracies that will become permanent organisms doing nothing and extorting taxes from e.g. American taxpayers.

    The Paris Climate Agreement is prime example: so US and EU tax their citizens today to reduce emissions, but China, which builds new coal-fired plants constantly, gets a 20 year or something extension.

    The whole thing is a farce.

    , @Anonymous
    Another reason I thank the Holy Ghost for Brexit.
    , @utu
    A: dumb for right-wingers to deny the reality of climate change

    B: the perfect argument for legitimizing mass immigration

    Your logic is ass backward.

    If we deny it, then mass immigration can't be legitimized by what we claim is not happening.

    If we affirm it, then it does not mean we can stop if it is real but we still will have to own to it even if it is not man made.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. Talha says:
    @Lemurmaniac
    We in the west have weaponry that can kill people at an industrial level.

    Pakistan has the same – I suggest not threatening her.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I must be brutally honest with you.

    I absolutely *DO NOT* 'blame' Pakistanis for attempting to emigrate to Europe.

    However, I *DO* blame the European Deep State for secretly and covertly aiding, abetting and encouraging this immigration.

    The fault lies with Europeans.

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. Talha says:
    @German_reader
    That's like saying cholera is preferable to plague. And I'm not even sure Pakistanis are in any way preferable to non-Muslim black Africans. Pakistan is a centre of global jihadism and a majority of the population there holds beliefs that can only be described as Islamist (e.g. iirc a majority is in favour of killing "apostates"; you can look it up in the PEW values survey for Islamic countries, AK also had a post about it a while back). In retrospect, allowing the establishment of Pakistan was one of the great geopolitical mistakes of the 20th century.

    allowing the establishment of Pakistan was one of the great geopolitical mistakes of the 20th century

    Possibly – Britain trying to rule over a sub-continent full of millions of Hindus and Muslims, thousands of miles from her shores was probably the bigger folly. Pakistan is a case study – a side effect – if you will.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    That's certainly correct, I'm no apologist for British imperialism or for any other imperialism. And maybe a case could be made that the original intention behind the creation of Pakistan, as a state for the subcontinent's Muslims who didn't wish to live under non-Muslim rule, was legitimate. But what has become of Pakistan since the 1980s (admittedly not without deeply misguided assistance by the US and other Western states) is pretty horrifying.
    , @DFH

    Britain trying to rule over a sub-continent full of millions of Hindus and Muslims, thousands of miles from her shores was probably the bigger folly
     
    It was hardly a folly for Britain, since it made Britain the dominant country in the world for 200 years. It wasn't even very difficult; after the initial conquest, there was only one serious uprising against British rule and that was still easily put down.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. @Talha

    allowing the establishment of Pakistan was one of the great geopolitical mistakes of the 20th century
     
    Possibly - Britain trying to rule over a sub-continent full of millions of Hindus and Muslims, thousands of miles from her shores was probably the bigger folly. Pakistan is a case study - a side effect - if you will.

    Peace.

    That’s certainly correct, I’m no apologist for British imperialism or for any other imperialism. And maybe a case could be made that the original intention behind the creation of Pakistan, as a state for the subcontinent’s Muslims who didn’t wish to live under non-Muslim rule, was legitimate. But what has become of Pakistan since the 1980s (admittedly not without deeply misguided assistance by the US and other Western states) is pretty horrifying.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erik Sieven
    "And maybe a case could be made that the original intention behind the creation of Pakistan, as a state for the subcontinent’s Muslims who didn’t wish to live under non-Muslim rule, was legitimate"
    Though it is unfair that the South Asian Muslims have their own two countries (Pakistan and Bangladesh) from which they have purged any Non-Muslims, while India still has a substantial Muslim minority, which increases its share of the population steadily
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. Talha says:
    @Ali Choudhury
    Previously the population was being estimated at being between 220 to 235m, so the number here is lower than expected. The Sindhis are a little pissed since they reckon refugees from Afghanistan are inflating the population counts of Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - giving them a larger proportion of fiscal transfers. Said immigrants then come over to Karachi, Sindh's capital and the country's largest city and bring their colourful cultural folkways with them. Some of their politicians have called for the 2 5m Afghan refugees (now entering their second generation here) to be immediately deported.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1319202

    In any case water stress is going to be a huge issue affecting not just Pakistan but Central Asian, Afghanistan, India, China and Bangladesh. China holds the most powerful position here due to it's control of Tibet which holds 70% of the region's water resources and is upstream from India. It has built close to 90,000 dams there in order to help divert massive amounts of water to parched northern China. That is bad for Indian water security and also for Bangladesh which gets 90% of its water via India.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/china-is-waging-a-water-war-on-india/story-6jqgabEffcatPFzJ6fQ6eJ.html

    Hey Ali,

    Thanks for bringing up the water issue. I agree, it is a very important destabilizing factor. You can steal people’s oil from them, but if you steal their water or cut it off, you give them no reason not to fight. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail.

    Peace.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  18. Avery says:
    @German_reader
    Those weapons will be utterly useless against the threat of demographic expansion by Africa and some Islamic countries like Pakistan. I mean, ok, we can fantasize about things like just dropping neutron bombs on them to stop them from overrunning us, but in reality that's neither likely nor desirable.
    I agree with AP, it's dumb for right-wingers to deny the reality of climate change and not make at least an effort to see what could be done about it. The consequences of global warming on the 3rd world countries most affected are the perfect argument for legitimizing mass immigration to the northern hemisphere, and in fact you can already see such arguments being made (e.g. there are serious efforts in the EU parliament to create the category of "climate refugees").

    {….it’s dumb for right-wingers to deny the reality of climate change….}

    I am not sure that is correct.
    As far as I know, ‘right-wingers’ are not denying that climate change exists: they are questioning, backed up by science, that climate change is man-made.

    So basically, if it is man-made then (Western) man can be taxed to ‘fix’ the problem.
    It is a scheme to transfer wealth from wealthier industrialized West to others, via some intermediary such as UN, who will get a nice cut in the form more parasites and more bureaucracies that will become permanent organisms doing nothing and extorting taxes from e.g. American taxpayers.

    The Paris Climate Agreement is prime example: so US and EU tax their citizens today to reduce emissions, but China, which builds new coal-fired plants constantly, gets a 20 year or something extension.

    The whole thing is a farce.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    As far as I know, ‘right-wingers’ are not denying that climate change exists
     
    Yes we are. 2017 was one of the coldest years in decades, and temperature trends since 2008 have been going down every year.

    (Yeah, yeah, I know -- you're going to say that falling temperatures prove "climate change" is real and therefore global warming and the sky is falling.)
    , @Anonymous
    Yes. The question of whether and why the earth is warming is a matter of science. The question of which specific countries are to blame is a matter of politics and economics. It would be nice if these things could be kept separate, but that's probably not possible given the potentially huge amounts of money to be made from gas-lighting rich but gullible people into accepting responsibility for it.
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  19. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Erik Sieven
    I´d rather have 200 million Pakistanis in Europe than 200 million Subsaharan Africans, let to lone 5 billion Subsaharan Africans.

    Obviously, there are very few Pakistanis living around your way.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  20. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @German_reader
    Those weapons will be utterly useless against the threat of demographic expansion by Africa and some Islamic countries like Pakistan. I mean, ok, we can fantasize about things like just dropping neutron bombs on them to stop them from overrunning us, but in reality that's neither likely nor desirable.
    I agree with AP, it's dumb for right-wingers to deny the reality of climate change and not make at least an effort to see what could be done about it. The consequences of global warming on the 3rd world countries most affected are the perfect argument for legitimizing mass immigration to the northern hemisphere, and in fact you can already see such arguments being made (e.g. there are serious efforts in the EU parliament to create the category of "climate refugees").

    Another reason I thank the Holy Ghost for Brexit.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Yes, I sympathize with the sentiment; but you've also got to remember, it wasn't the EU that created the Pakistani community in Britain.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  21. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Talha
    Pakistan has the same - I suggest not threatening her.

    Peace.

    I must be brutally honest with you.

    I absolutely *DO NOT* ‘blame’ Pakistanis for attempting to emigrate to Europe.

    However, I *DO* blame the European Deep State for secretly and covertly aiding, abetting and encouraging this immigration.

    The fault lies with Europeans.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    This makes sense. I mean people migrate from Nebraska to California because; hey, why the hell not??!!

    I agree that if the European elites don't set the right policies - to borrow from Field of Dreams; "If you build it, they will come."

    I do absolutely say though, that if Europeans are going to bring in any immigrants (especially from Muslim countries), they should do proper vetting. I personally do not want Muslims who cannot handle themselves in the West with proper decorum (whether it be committing terrorism, drinking, raping, fornicating, etc.) allowed in. It is better for the preservation of their faith (which is far more important than material increase) if they are kept in Muslim societies that have safeguards to restrict them. And it does non-Muslim citizens of the West no good to be victims of their profligacy.

    The funny thing is, the Muslims you likely want in Europe are those least likely to be eager to move there.

    Peace.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. @Anonymous
    Another reason I thank the Holy Ghost for Brexit.

    Yes, I sympathize with the sentiment; but you’ve also got to remember, it wasn’t the EU that created the Pakistani community in Britain.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Britain made a big mistake - admitted - with the 1948 Nationality Act which allowed for massive Pakistani immigration.
    However, the malefaction of that Act was corrected with a whole series of stricter and stricter immigration Acts, culminating with Mrs Thatcher in 1981. Yes, that bastard Blair unravelled a lot of the good work, but ignoring him, the direction of travel was in the right way.

    Sorry, but the EU's wooden-headed insistence on applying the ridiculous and outdated Geneva 'Refugee' laws - which like so much about the EU absolutely cannot be changed by an earthly force - can and *WILL* ensure its demographic doom.
    Mark my words.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @German_reader
    Yes, I sympathize with the sentiment; but you've also got to remember, it wasn't the EU that created the Pakistani community in Britain.

    Britain made a big mistake – admitted – with the 1948 Nationality Act which allowed for massive Pakistani immigration.
    However, the malefaction of that Act was corrected with a whole series of stricter and stricter immigration Acts, culminating with Mrs Thatcher in 1981. Yes, that bastard Blair unravelled a lot of the good work, but ignoring him, the direction of travel was in the right way.

    Sorry, but the EU’s wooden-headed insistence on applying the ridiculous and outdated Geneva ‘Refugee’ laws – which like so much about the EU absolutely cannot be changed by an earthly force – can and *WILL* ensure its demographic doom.
    Mark my words.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Oh, I agree with you about the EU and the ridiculous Geneva refugee convention. It just seems to me that Britain's prospects are bleak even outside of the EU. Blair's government created facts that are impossible to undo short of civil war and dictatorship, immigration levels have been at hundreds of thousands per year even under "conservative" governments in recent years (most of it unrelated to EU membership), and if Labour ever will be in government again, they'll again increase those levels and enact even more draconian legislation against "racism". And then it will be over for good.
    Not that Germany's trajectory looks any more promising (just read today that an estimated 390 000 Syrians in Germany will be eligible for family reunification next year).
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  24. Talha says:
    @Anonymous
    I must be brutally honest with you.

    I absolutely *DO NOT* 'blame' Pakistanis for attempting to emigrate to Europe.

    However, I *DO* blame the European Deep State for secretly and covertly aiding, abetting and encouraging this immigration.

    The fault lies with Europeans.

    Peace.

    This makes sense. I mean people migrate from Nebraska to California because; hey, why the hell not??!!

    I agree that if the European elites don’t set the right policies – to borrow from Field of Dreams; “If you build it, they will come.”

    I do absolutely say though, that if Europeans are going to bring in any immigrants (especially from Muslim countries), they should do proper vetting. I personally do not want Muslims who cannot handle themselves in the West with proper decorum (whether it be committing terrorism, drinking, raping, fornicating, etc.) allowed in. It is better for the preservation of their faith (which is far more important than material increase) if they are kept in Muslim societies that have safeguards to restrict them. And it does non-Muslim citizens of the West no good to be victims of their profligacy.

    The funny thing is, the Muslims you likely want in Europe are those least likely to be eager to move there.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    {.... they should do proper vetting.}

    Nope, vetting, even the most draconian, won't work.
    The most violent Islamic terrorist acts in Europe and US were carried out by young 2nd or 3rd gen Muslims who were born in the country they terrorized.

    There is only one solution and I am sure you know what that is, Talha.
    It is rather unfortunate because good Muslims are being tarred and affected by the militant fringe, but there does not appear to be any other practical solution.
    , @utu
    I personally do not want Muslims who cannot handle themselves in the West with proper decorum

    You sound like a German Jew talking about the Ostjuden.
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  25. DFH says:
    @Talha

    allowing the establishment of Pakistan was one of the great geopolitical mistakes of the 20th century
     
    Possibly - Britain trying to rule over a sub-continent full of millions of Hindus and Muslims, thousands of miles from her shores was probably the bigger folly. Pakistan is a case study - a side effect - if you will.

    Peace.

    Britain trying to rule over a sub-continent full of millions of Hindus and Muslims, thousands of miles from her shores was probably the bigger folly

    It was hardly a folly for Britain, since it made Britain the dominant country in the world for 200 years. It wasn’t even very difficult; after the initial conquest, there was only one serious uprising against British rule and that was still easily put down.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erik Sieven
    was it specifically India which gave Britain such a power-boost, or was conquering India just a consequence of being the most powerful country on earth?
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  26. Avery says:
    @Talha
    This makes sense. I mean people migrate from Nebraska to California because; hey, why the hell not??!!

    I agree that if the European elites don't set the right policies - to borrow from Field of Dreams; "If you build it, they will come."

    I do absolutely say though, that if Europeans are going to bring in any immigrants (especially from Muslim countries), they should do proper vetting. I personally do not want Muslims who cannot handle themselves in the West with proper decorum (whether it be committing terrorism, drinking, raping, fornicating, etc.) allowed in. It is better for the preservation of their faith (which is far more important than material increase) if they are kept in Muslim societies that have safeguards to restrict them. And it does non-Muslim citizens of the West no good to be victims of their profligacy.

    The funny thing is, the Muslims you likely want in Europe are those least likely to be eager to move there.

    Peace.

    {…. they should do proper vetting.}

    Nope, vetting, even the most draconian, won’t work.
    The most violent Islamic terrorist acts in Europe and US were carried out by young 2nd or 3rd gen Muslims who were born in the country they terrorized.

    There is only one solution and I am sure you know what that is, Talha.
    It is rather unfortunate because good Muslims are being tarred and affected by the militant fringe, but there does not appear to be any other practical solution.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Avery,

    there does not appear to be any other practical solution
     
    Well, we could try to roll back the empire and see if that works.

    Otherwise, well, if it's going to be the Alhambra Decree, let's just be honest about it and do everything legal and by the books.

    But the funny (or tragic) thing is...collective punishment without distinctions is what the terrorists espouse.

    Peace.
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  27. @Anonymous
    Britain made a big mistake - admitted - with the 1948 Nationality Act which allowed for massive Pakistani immigration.
    However, the malefaction of that Act was corrected with a whole series of stricter and stricter immigration Acts, culminating with Mrs Thatcher in 1981. Yes, that bastard Blair unravelled a lot of the good work, but ignoring him, the direction of travel was in the right way.

    Sorry, but the EU's wooden-headed insistence on applying the ridiculous and outdated Geneva 'Refugee' laws - which like so much about the EU absolutely cannot be changed by an earthly force - can and *WILL* ensure its demographic doom.
    Mark my words.

    Oh, I agree with you about the EU and the ridiculous Geneva refugee convention. It just seems to me that Britain’s prospects are bleak even outside of the EU. Blair’s government created facts that are impossible to undo short of civil war and dictatorship, immigration levels have been at hundreds of thousands per year even under “conservative” governments in recent years (most of it unrelated to EU membership), and if Labour ever will be in government again, they’ll again increase those levels and enact even more draconian legislation against “racism”. And then it will be over for good.
    Not that Germany’s trajectory looks any more promising (just read today that an estimated 390 000 Syrians in Germany will be eligible for family reunification next year).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    even more draconian legislation against “racism”
     
    Well, White Man's burden and all that good stuff.

    You know, I used to give the Brits more credit. British Empire - took less than around 300 years to go into full implosion - and it doesn't seem to be over. I don't think the Turks crashed anywhere close to that.

    Peace.
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  28. Talha says:

    It was hardly a folly for Britain

    No – not for Britain – we are talking about her former subjects. Britain was thousands of miles away – it was a no-risk venture from her perspective.

    Peace.

    Read More
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  29. Talha says:
    @Avery
    {.... they should do proper vetting.}

    Nope, vetting, even the most draconian, won't work.
    The most violent Islamic terrorist acts in Europe and US were carried out by young 2nd or 3rd gen Muslims who were born in the country they terrorized.

    There is only one solution and I am sure you know what that is, Talha.
    It is rather unfortunate because good Muslims are being tarred and affected by the militant fringe, but there does not appear to be any other practical solution.

    Hey Avery,

    there does not appear to be any other practical solution

    Well, we could try to roll back the empire and see if that works.

    Otherwise, well, if it’s going to be the Alhambra Decree, let’s just be honest about it and do everything legal and by the books.

    But the funny (or tragic) thing is…collective punishment without distinctions is what the terrorists espouse.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    Yo, Talha:

    No need roll back the empire (....which empire?) or do the 'Alhambra Decree' (....what is that?).
    Nothing dramatic.

    Don't know about Europeans, but here in the US if it is illegal to ban Muslim immigrants (....probably is), then stop all immigration.

    I am an immigrant myself, so it would be unfair to future Averys not to get the chance I got years ago.
    But if we want America to remain America, then things have to change.
    Japan has near-zero immigration, and the only terrorism they suffered was at the hands of a homegrown cult. They got eliminated and that was the end of that.

    There are something like 320 million people in US.
    More than enough for natural growth and to maintain and improve our high living standards.

    We don't want a larger version of Yugoslavia here, do we?
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  30. Talha says:
    @German_reader
    Oh, I agree with you about the EU and the ridiculous Geneva refugee convention. It just seems to me that Britain's prospects are bleak even outside of the EU. Blair's government created facts that are impossible to undo short of civil war and dictatorship, immigration levels have been at hundreds of thousands per year even under "conservative" governments in recent years (most of it unrelated to EU membership), and if Labour ever will be in government again, they'll again increase those levels and enact even more draconian legislation against "racism". And then it will be over for good.
    Not that Germany's trajectory looks any more promising (just read today that an estimated 390 000 Syrians in Germany will be eligible for family reunification next year).

    Hey G_R,

    even more draconian legislation against “racism”

    Well, White Man’s burden and all that good stuff.

    You know, I used to give the Brits more credit. British Empire – took less than around 300 years to go into full implosion – and it doesn’t seem to be over. I don’t think the Turks crashed anywhere close to that.

    Peace.

    Read More
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  31. @DFH

    Britain trying to rule over a sub-continent full of millions of Hindus and Muslims, thousands of miles from her shores was probably the bigger folly
     
    It was hardly a folly for Britain, since it made Britain the dominant country in the world for 200 years. It wasn't even very difficult; after the initial conquest, there was only one serious uprising against British rule and that was still easily put down.

    was it specifically India which gave Britain such a power-boost, or was conquering India just a consequence of being the most powerful country on earth?

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    or was conquering India just a consequence of being the most powerful country on earth?
     
    Britain wasn't really the most powerful state on earth in the mid-18th century, and arguably there was quite a bit of luck and chance to its conquest of India. Basically what happened was that the Moghul empire was breaking apart by the 1750s, and viable successor states were beginning to emerge. The East India company defeated the nawab of Bengal who had tried to limit the company's economic influence in his domains, and then hijacked the fiscal-administrative machinery of the Bengal successor state. The British then used the resources of Bengal, both fiscal and in military manpower, to win supremacy over India in a series of wars stretching until the early 19th century. Superior European military tactics and technology did play some role in that (though by the 1780s Britain's enemies like Tipu Sultan were beginning to catch up and created European-style infantry and artillery units), but it's important to note that the East India company used resources extracted from India for its conquests, in a self-reinforcing process.
    Regarding the economic benefits of Indian empire to Britain, no idea, are there any good assessments about that? I've seen it argued though that by the 20th century Britain's Indian empire wasn't economically profitable anymore. It was very important though as a source of military manpower, and that's the reason why, once India became independent, the rest of Britain's empire in Asia quickly went down as well.
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  32. @German_reader
    That's certainly correct, I'm no apologist for British imperialism or for any other imperialism. And maybe a case could be made that the original intention behind the creation of Pakistan, as a state for the subcontinent's Muslims who didn't wish to live under non-Muslim rule, was legitimate. But what has become of Pakistan since the 1980s (admittedly not without deeply misguided assistance by the US and other Western states) is pretty horrifying.

    “And maybe a case could be made that the original intention behind the creation of Pakistan, as a state for the subcontinent’s Muslims who didn’t wish to live under non-Muslim rule, was legitimate”
    Though it is unfair that the South Asian Muslims have their own two countries (Pakistan and Bangladesh) from which they have purged any Non-Muslims, while India still has a substantial Muslim minority, which increases its share of the population steadily

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Erik,

    from which they have purged any Non-Muslims
     
    This is not correct. Pakistan has a minority of Christians and Hindus, Sikhs (and even Kalasha) who have reserved seats in parliament. In fact, just recently, they were granted a 50% increase in reserved seats due to their increase in population.

    Bangladesh has a more substantial Hindu minority around 10% compared to India's 14% Muslim minority.

    while India still has a substantial Muslim minority
     
    I support her giving those Muslim-majority states independence at any time she wants in order to become more purely Hindu.

    Peace.
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  33. @Erik Sieven
    was it specifically India which gave Britain such a power-boost, or was conquering India just a consequence of being the most powerful country on earth?

    or was conquering India just a consequence of being the most powerful country on earth?

    Britain wasn’t really the most powerful state on earth in the mid-18th century, and arguably there was quite a bit of luck and chance to its conquest of India. Basically what happened was that the Moghul empire was breaking apart by the 1750s, and viable successor states were beginning to emerge. The East India company defeated the nawab of Bengal who had tried to limit the company’s economic influence in his domains, and then hijacked the fiscal-administrative machinery of the Bengal successor state. The British then used the resources of Bengal, both fiscal and in military manpower, to win supremacy over India in a series of wars stretching until the early 19th century. Superior European military tactics and technology did play some role in that (though by the 1780s Britain’s enemies like Tipu Sultan were beginning to catch up and created European-style infantry and artillery units), but it’s important to note that the East India company used resources extracted from India for its conquests, in a self-reinforcing process.
    Regarding the economic benefits of Indian empire to Britain, no idea, are there any good assessments about that? I’ve seen it argued though that by the 20th century Britain’s Indian empire wasn’t economically profitable anymore. It was very important though as a source of military manpower, and that’s the reason why, once India became independent, the rest of Britain’s empire in Asia quickly went down as well.

    Read More
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  34. Talha says:
    @Erik Sieven
    "And maybe a case could be made that the original intention behind the creation of Pakistan, as a state for the subcontinent’s Muslims who didn’t wish to live under non-Muslim rule, was legitimate"
    Though it is unfair that the South Asian Muslims have their own two countries (Pakistan and Bangladesh) from which they have purged any Non-Muslims, while India still has a substantial Muslim minority, which increases its share of the population steadily

    Hey Erik,

    from which they have purged any Non-Muslims

    This is not correct. Pakistan has a minority of Christians and Hindus, Sikhs (and even Kalasha) who have reserved seats in parliament. In fact, just recently, they were granted a 50% increase in reserved seats due to their increase in population.

    Bangladesh has a more substantial Hindu minority around 10% compared to India’s 14% Muslim minority.

    while India still has a substantial Muslim minority

    I support her giving those Muslim-majority states independence at any time she wants in order to become more purely Hindu.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hector_St_Clare
    There are only two significant Muslim majority areas in India, Kashmir and the northern part of Kerala. (FTR I agree with you that India is too big a country and should be broken up: both Kashmir and Kerala would be better off on their own).

    I also appreciate your honest and straightforward defense of your faith on a comment board where most commenters (myself included) are, well, quite hostile to what you believe. I'm quite a bit comforted by what you say about the limits of Islamic blasphemy laws. If I understand you correctly, saying something like "Monotheism is wrong" or "God became incarnate as a Man" or "Muhammed was deluded by the devil" are protected as legitimate expressions of religious viewpoints, but e.g. portraying Muhammed as a pig are not? Since you say "a certain degree of blasphemy is taken for granted" in order to allow minority religions to express their opinions?

    Also, what do you think of blasphemy laws in countries where Muslims are a small minority? I think you suggest below that this will only become an issue when Muslims become a majority, but that's not correct: in many countries today a large chunk of the native population can be counted on to take the Muslim side. Denmark for example overturned its blasphemy law earlier this year, and I suspect it was largely a proxy for what you think about Islam. The Social Democrats, believe it or not, defended the blasphemy law and th conservatives opposed it.
    , @Anon
    The English gave their empire away, for various reasons. Turks never thought of that.
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  35. Avery says:
    @Talha
    Hey Avery,

    there does not appear to be any other practical solution
     
    Well, we could try to roll back the empire and see if that works.

    Otherwise, well, if it's going to be the Alhambra Decree, let's just be honest about it and do everything legal and by the books.

    But the funny (or tragic) thing is...collective punishment without distinctions is what the terrorists espouse.

    Peace.

    Yo, Talha:

    No need roll back the empire (….which empire?) or do the ‘Alhambra Decree’ (….what is that?).
    Nothing dramatic.

    Don’t know about Europeans, but here in the US if it is illegal to ban Muslim immigrants (….probably is), then stop all immigration.

    I am an immigrant myself, so it would be unfair to future Averys not to get the chance I got years ago.
    But if we want America to remain America, then things have to change.
    Japan has near-zero immigration, and the only terrorism they suffered was at the hands of a homegrown cult. They got eliminated and that was the end of that.

    There are something like 320 million people in US.
    More than enough for natural growth and to maintain and improve our high living standards.

    We don’t want a larger version of Yugoslavia here, do we?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Avery,

    Oh OK - stopping immigration - well I don't see an issue with that honestly. Any country should be free to decide who it wants coming in or not - this is Sovereignty 101.

    I thought you were talking about straight up expulsion:
    https://www.history.org.uk/getinvolved/news/3255/the-alhambra-decree

    if it is illegal to ban Muslim immigrants
     
    I really don't see why a country can't be selective as to which countries it wants immigrants from. Again, Sovereignty 101.

    the chance I got years ago.
     
    Key words are "years ago" - circumstances change - that's just reality. The onus on us is to stop our government from causing any more trouble around the world by destabilizing relatively functional countries. Iraqis tend to stay in Iraq when water, electricity and other things are running OK.

    We don’t want a larger version of Yugoslavia here, do we?
     
    I've spoken to Bosnians and Croats who experienced that war - no, no we don't.

    Peace.
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  36. Talha says:
    @Avery
    Yo, Talha:

    No need roll back the empire (....which empire?) or do the 'Alhambra Decree' (....what is that?).
    Nothing dramatic.

    Don't know about Europeans, but here in the US if it is illegal to ban Muslim immigrants (....probably is), then stop all immigration.

    I am an immigrant myself, so it would be unfair to future Averys not to get the chance I got years ago.
    But if we want America to remain America, then things have to change.
    Japan has near-zero immigration, and the only terrorism they suffered was at the hands of a homegrown cult. They got eliminated and that was the end of that.

    There are something like 320 million people in US.
    More than enough for natural growth and to maintain and improve our high living standards.

    We don't want a larger version of Yugoslavia here, do we?

    Hey Avery,

    Oh OK – stopping immigration – well I don’t see an issue with that honestly. Any country should be free to decide who it wants coming in or not – this is Sovereignty 101.

    I thought you were talking about straight up expulsion:

    https://www.history.org.uk/getinvolved/news/3255/the-alhambra-decree

    if it is illegal to ban Muslim immigrants

    I really don’t see why a country can’t be selective as to which countries it wants immigrants from. Again, Sovereignty 101.

    the chance I got years ago.

    Key words are “years ago” – circumstances change – that’s just reality. The onus on us is to stop our government from causing any more trouble around the world by destabilizing relatively functional countries. Iraqis tend to stay in Iraq when water, electricity and other things are running OK.

    We don’t want a larger version of Yugoslavia here, do we?

    I’ve spoken to Bosnians and Croats who experienced that war – no, no we don’t.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    {I thought you were talking about straight up expulsion:}

    You ought to know me better than that.

    {The onus on us...}

    Agree 100%.
    Syrians were living more or less normal lives until US/UK/France/KSA/Turkey/Israel.......decided that that 'Assad has to go' (......who the Hell are youse to decide that......).

    "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none. "
    Thomas Jefferson

    , @Anon
    Kalash don't have reserved seats, do they??

    I've been told by people who have worked with Pakistani refugees in Sri Lanka that Pakistan is not a great place to be Christian. Bangladesh is probably better because their good relations with India depend on treating Hindus nicely.

    Various parts of India can of course be rough on Indian Muslims at times.

    I nearly studied in Croatia on an exchange program, but didn't. It's a good place and the people are polite, but I don't envy them their recent history.
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  37. Avery says:
    @Talha
    Hey Avery,

    Oh OK - stopping immigration - well I don't see an issue with that honestly. Any country should be free to decide who it wants coming in or not - this is Sovereignty 101.

    I thought you were talking about straight up expulsion:
    https://www.history.org.uk/getinvolved/news/3255/the-alhambra-decree

    if it is illegal to ban Muslim immigrants
     
    I really don't see why a country can't be selective as to which countries it wants immigrants from. Again, Sovereignty 101.

    the chance I got years ago.
     
    Key words are "years ago" - circumstances change - that's just reality. The onus on us is to stop our government from causing any more trouble around the world by destabilizing relatively functional countries. Iraqis tend to stay in Iraq when water, electricity and other things are running OK.

    We don’t want a larger version of Yugoslavia here, do we?
     
    I've spoken to Bosnians and Croats who experienced that war - no, no we don't.

    Peace.

    {I thought you were talking about straight up expulsion:}

    You ought to know me better than that.

    {The onus on us…}

    Agree 100%.
    Syrians were living more or less normal lives until US/UK/France/KSA/Turkey/Israel…….decided that that ‘Assad has to go’ (……who the Hell are youse to decide that……).

    “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none. “
    Thomas Jefferson

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    who the Hell are youse to decide that
     
    We're the policeman of the world, remember?
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  38. Talha says:
    @Avery
    {I thought you were talking about straight up expulsion:}

    You ought to know me better than that.

    {The onus on us...}

    Agree 100%.
    Syrians were living more or less normal lives until US/UK/France/KSA/Turkey/Israel.......decided that that 'Assad has to go' (......who the Hell are youse to decide that......).

    "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none. "
    Thomas Jefferson

    who the Hell are youse to decide that

    We’re the policeman of the world, remember?

    Read More
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  39. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Talha
    Hey Avery,

    Oh OK - stopping immigration - well I don't see an issue with that honestly. Any country should be free to decide who it wants coming in or not - this is Sovereignty 101.

    I thought you were talking about straight up expulsion:
    https://www.history.org.uk/getinvolved/news/3255/the-alhambra-decree

    if it is illegal to ban Muslim immigrants
     
    I really don't see why a country can't be selective as to which countries it wants immigrants from. Again, Sovereignty 101.

    the chance I got years ago.
     
    Key words are "years ago" - circumstances change - that's just reality. The onus on us is to stop our government from causing any more trouble around the world by destabilizing relatively functional countries. Iraqis tend to stay in Iraq when water, electricity and other things are running OK.

    We don’t want a larger version of Yugoslavia here, do we?
     
    I've spoken to Bosnians and Croats who experienced that war - no, no we don't.

    Peace.

    Kalash don’t have reserved seats, do they??

    I’ve been told by people who have worked with Pakistani refugees in Sri Lanka that Pakistan is not a great place to be Christian. Bangladesh is probably better because their good relations with India depend on treating Hindus nicely.

    Various parts of India can of course be rough on Indian Muslims at times.

    I nearly studied in Croatia on an exchange program, but didn’t. It’s a good place and the people are polite, but I don’t envy them their recent history.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hola Senor,

    Kalasha and others have reserved seats as religious minorities as a whole. So there aren't like 2 for them, 3 for Sikhs, etc. One valid criticism of the system is that it doesn't allow minorities to directly vote candidates into the minority seats - rather they are still assigned only to minorities, but they are divvied up according to parties. I don't know which way is the right way to go on that - I can see arguments both ways.

    Pakistan is not a great place to be Christian
     
    Depends on where actually - but yes, I will agree that even though, on paper, the framework for religious minorities is generally pretty sound in Pakistan - in implementation it is sometimes overshadowed by mob politics or corruption, etc. If they followed what is on the books and some Muslims learned to chill (is it the spices maybe?), there wouldn't be too many problems. And no - we don't consider blasphemy a minority "right".

    A Croat worked under me for a bit. Very cool guy. He actually fought on the Muslim side because that's just how his area broke down. I was surprised at how much of his spiritual outlook (and even terminology) - though he was Christian - was affected by Sufism of the Balkans.

    Peace.
    , @utu
    It’s a good place and the people are polite

    I have rather a dark view of Croats because of WWII and nowadays they are not exactly famous for being friendly.
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  40. Talha says:
    @Anon
    Kalash don't have reserved seats, do they??

    I've been told by people who have worked with Pakistani refugees in Sri Lanka that Pakistan is not a great place to be Christian. Bangladesh is probably better because their good relations with India depend on treating Hindus nicely.

    Various parts of India can of course be rough on Indian Muslims at times.

    I nearly studied in Croatia on an exchange program, but didn't. It's a good place and the people are polite, but I don't envy them their recent history.

    Hola Senor,

    Kalasha and others have reserved seats as religious minorities as a whole. So there aren’t like 2 for them, 3 for Sikhs, etc. One valid criticism of the system is that it doesn’t allow minorities to directly vote candidates into the minority seats – rather they are still assigned only to minorities, but they are divvied up according to parties. I don’t know which way is the right way to go on that – I can see arguments both ways.

    Pakistan is not a great place to be Christian

    Depends on where actually – but yes, I will agree that even though, on paper, the framework for religious minorities is generally pretty sound in Pakistan – in implementation it is sometimes overshadowed by mob politics or corruption, etc. If they followed what is on the books and some Muslims learned to chill (is it the spices maybe?), there wouldn’t be too many problems. And no – we don’t consider blasphemy a minority “right”.

    A Croat worked under me for a bit. Very cool guy. He actually fought on the Muslim side because that’s just how his area broke down. I was surprised at how much of his spiritual outlook (and even terminology) – though he was Christian – was affected by Sufism of the Balkans.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    And no – we don’t consider blasphemy a minority “right”.
     
    Since I've read quite a few disturbing stories about Pakistan's blasphemy laws, I've now looked up the subject:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_Pakistan#Religious_Offences_and_Punishments

    It's notable that the worst laws from a Western perspective were introduced in the 1980s and are quite different in spirit from older laws (in part dating back to the colonial period) like § 298 which penalizes Uttering of any word or making any sound or making any gesture or placing of any object in the sight with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person or § 295 A which deals with Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. While these laws may be open to abuse, they are at least not necessarily discriminatory and may be necessary for the prevention of inter-communal tensions.
    The laws from the 1980s by contrast seem quite simply designed to enshrine Sunni supremacy in law.
    Something like § 298 A (against Misuse of epithets, descriptions and titles etc., reserved for certain holy personages or places) seems to be quite obviously intended to target a specific religious community (Ahmadis in this case) regarded as heretics by mainstream Sunni Muslims.
    The most extreme cases of course are § 295B (life imprisonment for defiling the Quran) and § 295 C (death penalty for defiling the name of Mohammed). This clearly privileges Islam compared to other religions or world views. It gives free reign to Islam's vitriol against other faiths (Hindus as polytheistic idolaters, or accusing Christians of having deviated from true monotheism) while seeking to immunize Islam against the same by the threat of most severe punishments.
    Do you really believe that someone who has actually "defiled" the Quran or insulted the name of Mohammed should be imprisoned for life or executed?

    , @Anon
    Sufism (I wouldn't know Balkan from other, unfortunately) can actually approach Christianity quite closely in, as you put it, outlook and terminology, as evidenced by this book, or at least its title: https://archive.org/stream/elislamcristiani00asin#page/n5/mode/2up .

    Asin Palacios is worth reading in general though I can't find any English translations of the above; it's mostly about Abenarabi of Murcia anyway.
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  41. @Talha
    Hola Senor,

    Kalasha and others have reserved seats as religious minorities as a whole. So there aren't like 2 for them, 3 for Sikhs, etc. One valid criticism of the system is that it doesn't allow minorities to directly vote candidates into the minority seats - rather they are still assigned only to minorities, but they are divvied up according to parties. I don't know which way is the right way to go on that - I can see arguments both ways.

    Pakistan is not a great place to be Christian
     
    Depends on where actually - but yes, I will agree that even though, on paper, the framework for religious minorities is generally pretty sound in Pakistan - in implementation it is sometimes overshadowed by mob politics or corruption, etc. If they followed what is on the books and some Muslims learned to chill (is it the spices maybe?), there wouldn't be too many problems. And no - we don't consider blasphemy a minority "right".

    A Croat worked under me for a bit. Very cool guy. He actually fought on the Muslim side because that's just how his area broke down. I was surprised at how much of his spiritual outlook (and even terminology) - though he was Christian - was affected by Sufism of the Balkans.

    Peace.

    And no – we don’t consider blasphemy a minority “right”.

    Since I’ve read quite a few disturbing stories about Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, I’ve now looked up the subject:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_Pakistan#Religious_Offences_and_Punishments

    It’s notable that the worst laws from a Western perspective were introduced in the 1980s and are quite different in spirit from older laws (in part dating back to the colonial period) like § 298 which penalizes Uttering of any word or making any sound or making any gesture or placing of any object in the sight with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person or § 295 A which deals with Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. While these laws may be open to abuse, they are at least not necessarily discriminatory and may be necessary for the prevention of inter-communal tensions.
    The laws from the 1980s by contrast seem quite simply designed to enshrine Sunni supremacy in law.
    Something like § 298 A (against Misuse of epithets, descriptions and titles etc., reserved for certain holy personages or places) seems to be quite obviously intended to target a specific religious community (Ahmadis in this case) regarded as heretics by mainstream Sunni Muslims.
    The most extreme cases of course are § 295B (life imprisonment for defiling the Quran) and § 295 C (death penalty for defiling the name of Mohammed). This clearly privileges Islam compared to other religions or world views. It gives free reign to Islam’s vitriol against other faiths (Hindus as polytheistic idolaters, or accusing Christians of having deviated from true monotheism) while seeking to immunize Islam against the same by the threat of most severe punishments.
    Do you really believe that someone who has actually “defiled” the Quran or insulted the name of Mohammed should be imprisoned for life or executed?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Well, obviously, privileging Sunni Islam is the intention, no?

    Personally I prefer Indian blasphemy law which I believe (I'm not a lawyer and the wiki article seems downright weird) was carried over from the British period, as, I think, the earlier Paki laws were too.
    , @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    Good questions. Keep in mind that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic. Even states like Iraq that are not so labeled have Islam enshrined as the official state religion. That is the moral and ethical foundation upon which the society is built; Muslims never claim to build their societies on secular foundations. Thus Islam will always be pre-eminent in the land and Islam is what both guarantees and limits the rights of the followers of other religions of that land.

    The laws that came into being as a result of the debate on the Ahmadis actually started up in the 70s. And no, they are not heretics - they are not Muslim. Both the Sunni and Shiah are in agreement on this. as far as I know. Pakistan has a significant Shiah population (around 20%) and I don't really know of any official laws that give Sunni Islam a leg up over the Shiah interpretation - I would love to be corrected on this.

    This clearly privileges Islam compared to other religions or world views.
     
    Correct - as it is a Muslim land.

    It gives free reign to Islam’s vitriol against other faiths (Hindus as polytheistic idolaters, or accusing Christians of having deviated from true monotheism) while seeking to immunize Islam against the same by the threat of most severe punishments.
     
    Let me backtrack a bit. I said that blasphemy is not a right of religious minorities. There is actually nuance to this issue. All of the schools assume that a level of blasphemy is protected by the covenant between Muslims and non-Muslim minorities - this is what is entailed by their following their religion; things like claiming God came in the form of an avatar or that He has a son, or that the Prophet (pbuh) is not true, etc. This is their protected right. This is also the reason why the Hanafi school (from the earliest time) has stated that the covenant (when it is concluded in general terms and without specific mention of blasphemy) does not automatically break by them committing blasphemy (since a certain level of blasphemy is assumed to be among their rights by practicing their faith). However, if it is stipulated (as it is in Pakistan) with certain clear terms (such as reviling the Prophet [pbuh] or the Qur'an, etc. openly and publicly) then there is no problem in punishing the crime according to the law of the land - this is what the 19th century Ottoman scholar, Imam Ibn Abidin (ra) concluded when looking at the various historic opinions of the school.

    Keep in mind, this is all based on incidents that the Hanafi school examines within the Prophet's lifetime; like the delegation of Christians from Najran that came to conclude a covenant with the Prophet (pbuh) and debated theological points with him and a group of Jews who used to greet him by saying "Assaamu alaikum (death be upon you)" instead of "Assalaamu alaikum (peace be upon you)" and he didn't do anything to them.

    Do you really believe that someone who has actually “defiled” the Quran or insulted the name of Mohammed should be imprisoned for life or executed?
     
    Again, because the Hanafi school is more open than the other schools as to how to apply discretionary punishment on the matter, I wouldn't do something like that right away. The punishment should be deterrent, but I'd rather see it on some kind of a increasing level of punishment based on numbers of infractions; first time = public flogging or short imprisonment (that will be enough to deter most people), second time = longer imprisonment, third = life imprisonment, exile (non-Muslim nations can line up to take them if they want), etc.

    Peace.
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  42. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Talha
    Hola Senor,

    Kalasha and others have reserved seats as religious minorities as a whole. So there aren't like 2 for them, 3 for Sikhs, etc. One valid criticism of the system is that it doesn't allow minorities to directly vote candidates into the minority seats - rather they are still assigned only to minorities, but they are divvied up according to parties. I don't know which way is the right way to go on that - I can see arguments both ways.

    Pakistan is not a great place to be Christian
     
    Depends on where actually - but yes, I will agree that even though, on paper, the framework for religious minorities is generally pretty sound in Pakistan - in implementation it is sometimes overshadowed by mob politics or corruption, etc. If they followed what is on the books and some Muslims learned to chill (is it the spices maybe?), there wouldn't be too many problems. And no - we don't consider blasphemy a minority "right".

    A Croat worked under me for a bit. Very cool guy. He actually fought on the Muslim side because that's just how his area broke down. I was surprised at how much of his spiritual outlook (and even terminology) - though he was Christian - was affected by Sufism of the Balkans.

    Peace.

    Sufism (I wouldn’t know Balkan from other, unfortunately) can actually approach Christianity quite closely in, as you put it, outlook and terminology, as evidenced by this book, or at least its title: https://archive.org/stream/elislamcristiani00asin#page/n5/mode/2up .

    Asin Palacios is worth reading in general though I can’t find any English translations of the above; it’s mostly about Abenarabi of Murcia anyway.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    The Sufis have always been more chill and relaxed about things and represent that core spiritual side of Islam - which is why they are usually so phenomenally successful. They take a lot of lessons from the very spiritual (almost ethereal) nature and asceticism of the Son of Mary (pbuh), his renouncement of the world, etc.

    I have not read this book, but I have had it recommended by good sources (regarding the views of Sh. Ibn Arabi [ra] in English):
    http://www.sunypress.edu/p-2586-the-self-disclosure-of-god.aspx

    Peace.
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  43. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @German_reader

    And no – we don’t consider blasphemy a minority “right”.
     
    Since I've read quite a few disturbing stories about Pakistan's blasphemy laws, I've now looked up the subject:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_Pakistan#Religious_Offences_and_Punishments

    It's notable that the worst laws from a Western perspective were introduced in the 1980s and are quite different in spirit from older laws (in part dating back to the colonial period) like § 298 which penalizes Uttering of any word or making any sound or making any gesture or placing of any object in the sight with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person or § 295 A which deals with Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. While these laws may be open to abuse, they are at least not necessarily discriminatory and may be necessary for the prevention of inter-communal tensions.
    The laws from the 1980s by contrast seem quite simply designed to enshrine Sunni supremacy in law.
    Something like § 298 A (against Misuse of epithets, descriptions and titles etc., reserved for certain holy personages or places) seems to be quite obviously intended to target a specific religious community (Ahmadis in this case) regarded as heretics by mainstream Sunni Muslims.
    The most extreme cases of course are § 295B (life imprisonment for defiling the Quran) and § 295 C (death penalty for defiling the name of Mohammed). This clearly privileges Islam compared to other religions or world views. It gives free reign to Islam's vitriol against other faiths (Hindus as polytheistic idolaters, or accusing Christians of having deviated from true monotheism) while seeking to immunize Islam against the same by the threat of most severe punishments.
    Do you really believe that someone who has actually "defiled" the Quran or insulted the name of Mohammed should be imprisoned for life or executed?

    Well, obviously, privileging Sunni Islam is the intention, no?

    Personally I prefer Indian blasphemy law which I believe (I’m not a lawyer and the wiki article seems downright weird) was carried over from the British period, as, I think, the earlier Paki laws were too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    The relevant paragraph in Indian law seems to be identical with the § 295 A in Pakistani law I cited above and apparently dates from 1927.
    And yes, in a multireligious country it obviously might be justified to enact laws that prevent people from deliberately insulting other religions and stoking inter-communal conflict. But the parts of Pakistan's blasphemy laws that are criticized seem rather different in intent.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  44. @Anon
    Well, obviously, privileging Sunni Islam is the intention, no?

    Personally I prefer Indian blasphemy law which I believe (I'm not a lawyer and the wiki article seems downright weird) was carried over from the British period, as, I think, the earlier Paki laws were too.

    The relevant paragraph in Indian law seems to be identical with the § 295 A in Pakistani law I cited above and apparently dates from 1927.
    And yes, in a multireligious country it obviously might be justified to enact laws that prevent people from deliberately insulting other religions and stoking inter-communal conflict. But the parts of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws that are criticized seem rather different in intent.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    I don't really disagree-- the intent is, again, to ensure the continued supremacy of Sunni Islam.

    What makes me curious is whether under any conceivable legal contingency a non-Muslim could be required to answer as to whether he believed Mohammed a true prophet or the Koran true, etc., and punished either for not answering or for blasphemy.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  45. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @German_reader
    The relevant paragraph in Indian law seems to be identical with the § 295 A in Pakistani law I cited above and apparently dates from 1927.
    And yes, in a multireligious country it obviously might be justified to enact laws that prevent people from deliberately insulting other religions and stoking inter-communal conflict. But the parts of Pakistan's blasphemy laws that are criticized seem rather different in intent.

    I don’t really disagree– the intent is, again, to ensure the continued supremacy of Sunni Islam.

    What makes me curious is whether under any conceivable legal contingency a non-Muslim could be required to answer as to whether he believed Mohammed a true prophet or the Koran true, etc., and punished either for not answering or for blasphemy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    to ensure the continued supremacy of Sunni Islam
     
    No - just Islam - as I explained to G_R, there are no provisions I have come across that give Sunni interpretation a legal leg up on the Shiah. Since Ahmadis are not Muslim, it is not an issue of accommodating heterodox views. Rather there are laws that make it so Ahmadis cannot claim their religious centers as mosques, try to get visas to go on Hajj as Muslims, etc.

    Historically, the Muslim community has been open to heterodox strains (their views being publicly debated) - the Abbasid era was one of the best times to find good examples. But there are limits and we reserve the right to legally enforce those boundary definitions. Usually, strains that take themselves outside of Islam are courteous enough to take on another label; Baha'is, Druze, etc. This makes things easier for everybody - the Ahmadis keep insisting that they are Muslim.


    What makes me curious is whether under any conceivable legal contingency a non-Muslim could be required to answer as to whether he believed Mohammed a true prophet or the Koran true, etc., and punished either for not answering or for blasphemy.
     
    See what I wrote to G_R. This is assumed to be the case as otherwise they would be Muslim and is part of what is guaranteed protection. I pulled down the exegesis off my shelf called Ma'arif ul-Quran (by the late Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Muhammad Shafi'i [ra]) and he comments on the verse of the Qur'an:
    "And if they break their oaths after their agreement and revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief-- surely their oaths are nothing to them-- so that they may desist." (9:12)

    Under a subheading of "Honest critical study of Islam by protected non-Muslim citizens of Dar al-Islam is possible - vilification is not", he writes:
    " A person who speaks evil of Islam and the Shariah of Islam cannot continue to be a party to the treaty with Muslims. But, according to a consensus of Muslim jurists, it means vilification that is done to insult and belittle Islam and Muslims, openly and publicly. Honest intellectual criticism while conducting research into problems and rulings remains exempt from its purview – then, it is not supposed to be vilification in its lexical sense. Therefore, for non-Muslim citizens of Dar al-Islam, any honest intellectual criticism can be allowed, but what cannot be allowed is vilification, contempt, insult or outrage against Islam."

    For most traditional Muslims I would think this is a sensible and balanced approach to the matter. Also, keep in mind, that the honor of the non-Muslim citizens is also protected and they can take a Muslim to court over it. Sh. Muhammad Yacoubi wrote in his wonderful book "Refuting ISIS":
    "“Imam Kamal al-Din Ibn al-Humam went further and said, ‘Backbiting him [a dhimmi] is unlawful just as backbiting a Muslim is unlawful.’ Ibn ‘Abidin adopted this opinion in his sub-commentary known as Radd al- Muhtar, explaining that oppression against a non-Muslim citizen is worse, saying that it is ‘because with the contractual dhimma (pact) everything obligatory towards [one of] us is obligatory towards him, so if backbiting a Muslim is impermissible then backbiting him is [also] impermissible. In fact, they [scholars] said that oppression against a non-Muslim citizen is worse.’"

    Thus Imam Ibn Abidin (ra) - the same one I mentioned to G_R - concluded it is fully within the government's purview to punish a Muslim for saying insulting or frightening things to a non-Muslim citizen like: "O you unbeliever!" or "O you enemy of God!"

    Peace.

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  46. Bliss says:

    It does look like South Asia will be the scene of the first of the great human catastrophes resulting from global warming. Even without climate change the Indian Subcontinent has always been one failed monsoon away from massive famine.

    The deaths will be counted not in the millions but in the hundreds of millions…

    Read More
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  47. Bliss says:
    @Anonymous
    Europe.

    They will all come to Europe.

    They will all come to Europe.

    No dumbkopf they won’t.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Oh yes they will!!!!!!.

    Look, Dummkopf - you've got the Deep State fighting your corner.
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  48. @Avery
    {....it’s dumb for right-wingers to deny the reality of climate change....}

    I am not sure that is correct.
    As far as I know, 'right-wingers' are not denying that climate change exists: they are questioning, backed up by science, that climate change is man-made.

    So basically, if it is man-made then (Western) man can be taxed to 'fix' the problem.
    It is a scheme to transfer wealth from wealthier industrialized West to others, via some intermediary such as UN, who will get a nice cut in the form more parasites and more bureaucracies that will become permanent organisms doing nothing and extorting taxes from e.g. American taxpayers.

    The Paris Climate Agreement is prime example: so US and EU tax their citizens today to reduce emissions, but China, which builds new coal-fired plants constantly, gets a 20 year or something extension.

    The whole thing is a farce.

    As far as I know, ‘right-wingers’ are not denying that climate change exists

    Yes we are. 2017 was one of the coldest years in decades, and temperature trends since 2008 have been going down every year.

    (Yeah, yeah, I know — you’re going to say that falling temperatures prove “climate change” is real and therefore global warming and the sky is falling.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Yes we are. 2017 was one of the coldest years in decades, and temperature trends since 2008 have been going down every year.
     
    Only for two years, with a slight decrease while still being at a hiostorical high.

    https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/

    Global temperature was stable from 2009 to 2011 (at a historically high level), even decreasing slightly but then spiked upward since then.

    (Let me guess: NASA is part of the conspiracy).

    People who think the West will defend itself from hundreds of millions of desperate people seeking a place to live/escaping an environment where people can't live, by nuking those hundreds of millions of people, are living in a fantasy world.
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  49. Talha says:
    @German_reader

    And no – we don’t consider blasphemy a minority “right”.
     
    Since I've read quite a few disturbing stories about Pakistan's blasphemy laws, I've now looked up the subject:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_Pakistan#Religious_Offences_and_Punishments

    It's notable that the worst laws from a Western perspective were introduced in the 1980s and are quite different in spirit from older laws (in part dating back to the colonial period) like § 298 which penalizes Uttering of any word or making any sound or making any gesture or placing of any object in the sight with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person or § 295 A which deals with Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. While these laws may be open to abuse, they are at least not necessarily discriminatory and may be necessary for the prevention of inter-communal tensions.
    The laws from the 1980s by contrast seem quite simply designed to enshrine Sunni supremacy in law.
    Something like § 298 A (against Misuse of epithets, descriptions and titles etc., reserved for certain holy personages or places) seems to be quite obviously intended to target a specific religious community (Ahmadis in this case) regarded as heretics by mainstream Sunni Muslims.
    The most extreme cases of course are § 295B (life imprisonment for defiling the Quran) and § 295 C (death penalty for defiling the name of Mohammed). This clearly privileges Islam compared to other religions or world views. It gives free reign to Islam's vitriol against other faiths (Hindus as polytheistic idolaters, or accusing Christians of having deviated from true monotheism) while seeking to immunize Islam against the same by the threat of most severe punishments.
    Do you really believe that someone who has actually "defiled" the Quran or insulted the name of Mohammed should be imprisoned for life or executed?

    Hey G_R,

    Good questions. Keep in mind that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic. Even states like Iraq that are not so labeled have Islam enshrined as the official state religion. That is the moral and ethical foundation upon which the society is built; Muslims never claim to build their societies on secular foundations. Thus Islam will always be pre-eminent in the land and Islam is what both guarantees and limits the rights of the followers of other religions of that land.

    The laws that came into being as a result of the debate on the Ahmadis actually started up in the 70s. And no, they are not heretics – they are not Muslim. Both the Sunni and Shiah are in agreement on this. as far as I know. Pakistan has a significant Shiah population (around 20%) and I don’t really know of any official laws that give Sunni Islam a leg up over the Shiah interpretation – I would love to be corrected on this.

    This clearly privileges Islam compared to other religions or world views.

    Correct – as it is a Muslim land.

    It gives free reign to Islam’s vitriol against other faiths (Hindus as polytheistic idolaters, or accusing Christians of having deviated from true monotheism) while seeking to immunize Islam against the same by the threat of most severe punishments.

    Let me backtrack a bit. I said that blasphemy is not a right of religious minorities. There is actually nuance to this issue. All of the schools assume that a level of blasphemy is protected by the covenant between Muslims and non-Muslim minorities – this is what is entailed by their following their religion; things like claiming God came in the form of an avatar or that He has a son, or that the Prophet (pbuh) is not true, etc. This is their protected right. This is also the reason why the Hanafi school (from the earliest time) has stated that the covenant (when it is concluded in general terms and without specific mention of blasphemy) does not automatically break by them committing blasphemy (since a certain level of blasphemy is assumed to be among their rights by practicing their faith). However, if it is stipulated (as it is in Pakistan) with certain clear terms (such as reviling the Prophet [pbuh] or the Qur’an, etc. openly and publicly) then there is no problem in punishing the crime according to the law of the land – this is what the 19th century Ottoman scholar, Imam Ibn Abidin (ra) concluded when looking at the various historic opinions of the school.

    Keep in mind, this is all based on incidents that the Hanafi school examines within the Prophet’s lifetime; like the delegation of Christians from Najran that came to conclude a covenant with the Prophet (pbuh) and debated theological points with him and a group of Jews who used to greet him by saying “Assaamu alaikum (death be upon you)” instead of “Assalaamu alaikum (peace be upon you)” and he didn’t do anything to them.

    Do you really believe that someone who has actually “defiled” the Quran or insulted the name of Mohammed should be imprisoned for life or executed?

    Again, because the Hanafi school is more open than the other schools as to how to apply discretionary punishment on the matter, I wouldn’t do something like that right away. The punishment should be deterrent, but I’d rather see it on some kind of a increasing level of punishment based on numbers of infractions; first time = public flogging or short imprisonment (that will be enough to deter most people), second time = longer imprisonment, third = life imprisonment, exile (non-Muslim nations can line up to take them if they want), etc.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    The punishment should be deterrent, but I’d rather see it on some kind of a increasing level of punishment based on numbers of infractions; first time = public flogging or short imprisonment (that will be enough to deter most people), second time = longer imprisonment, third = life imprisonment, exile (non-Muslim nations can line up to take them if they want), etc.
     
    Thanks for the honest answer. I can't say though I have much sympathy for that view, ultimately it's a vision of society that seems almost totalitarian to me. It confirms me in my belief that Islamic influence in Western countries has to be severely restricted, since I've no wish to see Muslims getting the power to enforce their taboos on speech and thought in the West (which to a degree is already happening of course in Europe, with people self-censoring their public statements about Islam, since no one wants to end up like Theo van Gogh or live under permanent police protection).
    , @Anon
    By our western definition of heresy ("a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas", ST II-II:11:1), and altering "Christ" to "Mohammed", the Ahmadis would seem to be heretical with respect to Sunni Islam.

    This seems reasonable since "heresy" is an English word.

    Are they universally considered non-Muslim by the Shia as well?
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  50. Talha says:
    @Anon
    Sufism (I wouldn't know Balkan from other, unfortunately) can actually approach Christianity quite closely in, as you put it, outlook and terminology, as evidenced by this book, or at least its title: https://archive.org/stream/elislamcristiani00asin#page/n5/mode/2up .

    Asin Palacios is worth reading in general though I can't find any English translations of the above; it's mostly about Abenarabi of Murcia anyway.

    The Sufis have always been more chill and relaxed about things and represent that core spiritual side of Islam – which is why they are usually so phenomenally successful. They take a lot of lessons from the very spiritual (almost ethereal) nature and asceticism of the Son of Mary (pbuh), his renouncement of the world, etc.

    I have not read this book, but I have had it recommended by good sources (regarding the views of Sh. Ibn Arabi [ra] in English):

    http://www.sunypress.edu/p-2586-the-self-disclosure-of-god.aspx

    Peace.

    Read More
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  51. Talha says:
    @Anon
    I don't really disagree-- the intent is, again, to ensure the continued supremacy of Sunni Islam.

    What makes me curious is whether under any conceivable legal contingency a non-Muslim could be required to answer as to whether he believed Mohammed a true prophet or the Koran true, etc., and punished either for not answering or for blasphemy.

    to ensure the continued supremacy of Sunni Islam

    No – just Islam – as I explained to G_R, there are no provisions I have come across that give Sunni interpretation a legal leg up on the Shiah. Since Ahmadis are not Muslim, it is not an issue of accommodating heterodox views. Rather there are laws that make it so Ahmadis cannot claim their religious centers as mosques, try to get visas to go on Hajj as Muslims, etc.

    Historically, the Muslim community has been open to heterodox strains (their views being publicly debated) – the Abbasid era was one of the best times to find good examples. But there are limits and we reserve the right to legally enforce those boundary definitions. Usually, strains that take themselves outside of Islam are courteous enough to take on another label; Baha’is, Druze, etc. This makes things easier for everybody – the Ahmadis keep insisting that they are Muslim.

    What makes me curious is whether under any conceivable legal contingency a non-Muslim could be required to answer as to whether he believed Mohammed a true prophet or the Koran true, etc., and punished either for not answering or for blasphemy.

    See what I wrote to G_R. This is assumed to be the case as otherwise they would be Muslim and is part of what is guaranteed protection. I pulled down the exegesis off my shelf called Ma’arif ul-Quran (by the late Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Muhammad Shafi’i [ra]) and he comments on the verse of the Qur’an:
    “And if they break their oaths after their agreement and revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief– surely their oaths are nothing to them– so that they may desist.” (9:12)

    Under a subheading of “Honest critical study of Islam by protected non-Muslim citizens of Dar al-Islam is possible – vilification is not”, he writes:
    ” A person who speaks evil of Islam and the Shariah of Islam cannot continue to be a party to the treaty with Muslims. But, according to a consensus of Muslim jurists, it means vilification that is done to insult and belittle Islam and Muslims, openly and publicly. Honest intellectual criticism while conducting research into problems and rulings remains exempt from its purview – then, it is not supposed to be vilification in its lexical sense. Therefore, for non-Muslim citizens of Dar al-Islam, any honest intellectual criticism can be allowed, but what cannot be allowed is vilification, contempt, insult or outrage against Islam.”

    For most traditional Muslims I would think this is a sensible and balanced approach to the matter. Also, keep in mind, that the honor of the non-Muslim citizens is also protected and they can take a Muslim to court over it. Sh. Muhammad Yacoubi wrote in his wonderful book “Refuting ISIS”:
    ““Imam Kamal al-Din Ibn al-Humam went further and said, ‘Backbiting him [a dhimmi] is unlawful just as backbiting a Muslim is unlawful.’ Ibn ‘Abidin adopted this opinion in his sub-commentary known as Radd al- Muhtar, explaining that oppression against a non-Muslim citizen is worse, saying that it is ‘because with the contractual dhimma (pact) everything obligatory towards [one of] us is obligatory towards him, so if backbiting a Muslim is impermissible then backbiting him is [also] impermissible. In fact, they [scholars] said that oppression against a non-Muslim citizen is worse.’”

    Thus Imam Ibn Abidin (ra) – the same one I mentioned to G_R – concluded it is fully within the government’s purview to punish a Muslim for saying insulting or frightening things to a non-Muslim citizen like: “O you unbeliever!” or “O you enemy of God!”

    Peace.

    Read More
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  52. AP says:
    @anonymous coward

    As far as I know, ‘right-wingers’ are not denying that climate change exists
     
    Yes we are. 2017 was one of the coldest years in decades, and temperature trends since 2008 have been going down every year.

    (Yeah, yeah, I know -- you're going to say that falling temperatures prove "climate change" is real and therefore global warming and the sky is falling.)

    Yes we are. 2017 was one of the coldest years in decades, and temperature trends since 2008 have been going down every year.

    Only for two years, with a slight decrease while still being at a hiostorical high.

    https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/

    Global temperature was stable from 2009 to 2011 (at a historically high level), even decreasing slightly but then spiked upward since then.

    (Let me guess: NASA is part of the conspiracy).

    People who think the West will defend itself from hundreds of millions of desperate people seeking a place to live/escaping an environment where people can’t live, by nuking those hundreds of millions of people, are living in a fantasy world.

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    • Agree: German_reader
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  53. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Bliss

    They will all come to Europe.
     
    No dumbkopf they won’t.

    Oh yes they will!!!!!!.

    Look, Dummkopf – you’ve got the Deep State fighting your corner.

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  54. @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    Good questions. Keep in mind that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic. Even states like Iraq that are not so labeled have Islam enshrined as the official state religion. That is the moral and ethical foundation upon which the society is built; Muslims never claim to build their societies on secular foundations. Thus Islam will always be pre-eminent in the land and Islam is what both guarantees and limits the rights of the followers of other religions of that land.

    The laws that came into being as a result of the debate on the Ahmadis actually started up in the 70s. And no, they are not heretics - they are not Muslim. Both the Sunni and Shiah are in agreement on this. as far as I know. Pakistan has a significant Shiah population (around 20%) and I don't really know of any official laws that give Sunni Islam a leg up over the Shiah interpretation - I would love to be corrected on this.

    This clearly privileges Islam compared to other religions or world views.
     
    Correct - as it is a Muslim land.

    It gives free reign to Islam’s vitriol against other faiths (Hindus as polytheistic idolaters, or accusing Christians of having deviated from true monotheism) while seeking to immunize Islam against the same by the threat of most severe punishments.
     
    Let me backtrack a bit. I said that blasphemy is not a right of religious minorities. There is actually nuance to this issue. All of the schools assume that a level of blasphemy is protected by the covenant between Muslims and non-Muslim minorities - this is what is entailed by their following their religion; things like claiming God came in the form of an avatar or that He has a son, or that the Prophet (pbuh) is not true, etc. This is their protected right. This is also the reason why the Hanafi school (from the earliest time) has stated that the covenant (when it is concluded in general terms and without specific mention of blasphemy) does not automatically break by them committing blasphemy (since a certain level of blasphemy is assumed to be among their rights by practicing their faith). However, if it is stipulated (as it is in Pakistan) with certain clear terms (such as reviling the Prophet [pbuh] or the Qur'an, etc. openly and publicly) then there is no problem in punishing the crime according to the law of the land - this is what the 19th century Ottoman scholar, Imam Ibn Abidin (ra) concluded when looking at the various historic opinions of the school.

    Keep in mind, this is all based on incidents that the Hanafi school examines within the Prophet's lifetime; like the delegation of Christians from Najran that came to conclude a covenant with the Prophet (pbuh) and debated theological points with him and a group of Jews who used to greet him by saying "Assaamu alaikum (death be upon you)" instead of "Assalaamu alaikum (peace be upon you)" and he didn't do anything to them.

    Do you really believe that someone who has actually “defiled” the Quran or insulted the name of Mohammed should be imprisoned for life or executed?
     
    Again, because the Hanafi school is more open than the other schools as to how to apply discretionary punishment on the matter, I wouldn't do something like that right away. The punishment should be deterrent, but I'd rather see it on some kind of a increasing level of punishment based on numbers of infractions; first time = public flogging or short imprisonment (that will be enough to deter most people), second time = longer imprisonment, third = life imprisonment, exile (non-Muslim nations can line up to take them if they want), etc.

    Peace.

    The punishment should be deterrent, but I’d rather see it on some kind of a increasing level of punishment based on numbers of infractions; first time = public flogging or short imprisonment (that will be enough to deter most people), second time = longer imprisonment, third = life imprisonment, exile (non-Muslim nations can line up to take them if they want), etc.

    Thanks for the honest answer. I can’t say though I have much sympathy for that view, ultimately it’s a vision of society that seems almost totalitarian to me. It confirms me in my belief that Islamic influence in Western countries has to be severely restricted, since I’ve no wish to see Muslims getting the power to enforce their taboos on speech and thought in the West (which to a degree is already happening of course in Europe, with people self-censoring their public statements about Islam, since no one wants to end up like Theo van Gogh or live under permanent police protection).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    Thanks for the honest answer.
     
    No problem. Now that is simply my opinion on the matter. As I mentioned, the Hanafi school keeps things fairly open on the discretionary punishment. If Westerners adopt Islam en masse and roll with the Hanafi position on things, they will likely give it as wide a breadth as possible and not have very tough punishments (maybe small jail terms, maybe fines, etc. - I think that's how Malaysia rolls) - but I cannot tell what the future holds. They may adopt more strict views as well, I simply don't know because it is not an open and shut case.

    Muslims getting the power to enforce their taboos on speech and thought in the West
     
    We've already discussed that there is no true unrestricted free speech anywhere - it is all based on considerations of harm to other individuals and society. Our parameters are simply different - and, I would say - less restrictive than Europe before its trend toward secularization. As I outlined to Anon, Mufti Muhammad Shafi'i's opinion seems to balance the need to allow for academic and scholarly criticism while restricting that which is rude and vile. Some may consider that not allowing blasphemy (in that sense) is a form of oppression - we certainly don't.

    people self-censoring their public statements about Islam
     
    I have noticed, the more people seem to give attention to the subject of Islam, the more converts we seem to be getting. Didn't PT Barnum say something like, "There's no such thing as bad publicity".

    no one wants to end up like Theo van Gogh
     
    Vigilantism has no place in this at all - period. Muslims that are allowed into the West are in the reverse position of non-Muslims in Muslim lands - they have to obey the law of the land. If they don't like it that random non-Muslims are insulting Islam around them, they have a choice - they can leave. All cases in Muslim lands should go through proper and open court procedures with valid evidence and allow the defendant to present their case.

    Peace.
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  55. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Avery
    {....it’s dumb for right-wingers to deny the reality of climate change....}

    I am not sure that is correct.
    As far as I know, 'right-wingers' are not denying that climate change exists: they are questioning, backed up by science, that climate change is man-made.

    So basically, if it is man-made then (Western) man can be taxed to 'fix' the problem.
    It is a scheme to transfer wealth from wealthier industrialized West to others, via some intermediary such as UN, who will get a nice cut in the form more parasites and more bureaucracies that will become permanent organisms doing nothing and extorting taxes from e.g. American taxpayers.

    The Paris Climate Agreement is prime example: so US and EU tax their citizens today to reduce emissions, but China, which builds new coal-fired plants constantly, gets a 20 year or something extension.

    The whole thing is a farce.

    Yes. The question of whether and why the earth is warming is a matter of science. The question of which specific countries are to blame is a matter of politics and economics. It would be nice if these things could be kept separate, but that’s probably not possible given the potentially huge amounts of money to be made from gas-lighting rich but gullible people into accepting responsibility for it.

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  56. Talha says:
    @German_reader

    The punishment should be deterrent, but I’d rather see it on some kind of a increasing level of punishment based on numbers of infractions; first time = public flogging or short imprisonment (that will be enough to deter most people), second time = longer imprisonment, third = life imprisonment, exile (non-Muslim nations can line up to take them if they want), etc.
     
    Thanks for the honest answer. I can't say though I have much sympathy for that view, ultimately it's a vision of society that seems almost totalitarian to me. It confirms me in my belief that Islamic influence in Western countries has to be severely restricted, since I've no wish to see Muslims getting the power to enforce their taboos on speech and thought in the West (which to a degree is already happening of course in Europe, with people self-censoring their public statements about Islam, since no one wants to end up like Theo van Gogh or live under permanent police protection).

    Hey G_R,

    Thanks for the honest answer.

    No problem. Now that is simply my opinion on the matter. As I mentioned, the Hanafi school keeps things fairly open on the discretionary punishment. If Westerners adopt Islam en masse and roll with the Hanafi position on things, they will likely give it as wide a breadth as possible and not have very tough punishments (maybe small jail terms, maybe fines, etc. – I think that’s how Malaysia rolls) – but I cannot tell what the future holds. They may adopt more strict views as well, I simply don’t know because it is not an open and shut case.

    Muslims getting the power to enforce their taboos on speech and thought in the West

    We’ve already discussed that there is no true unrestricted free speech anywhere – it is all based on considerations of harm to other individuals and society. Our parameters are simply different – and, I would say – less restrictive than Europe before its trend toward secularization. As I outlined to Anon, Mufti Muhammad Shafi’i’s opinion seems to balance the need to allow for academic and scholarly criticism while restricting that which is rude and vile. Some may consider that not allowing blasphemy (in that sense) is a form of oppression – we certainly don’t.

    people self-censoring their public statements about Islam

    I have noticed, the more people seem to give attention to the subject of Islam, the more converts we seem to be getting. Didn’t PT Barnum say something like, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”.

    no one wants to end up like Theo van Gogh

    Vigilantism has no place in this at all – period. Muslims that are allowed into the West are in the reverse position of non-Muslims in Muslim lands – they have to obey the law of the land. If they don’t like it that random non-Muslims are insulting Islam around them, they have a choice – they can leave. All cases in Muslim lands should go through proper and open court procedures with valid evidence and allow the defendant to present their case.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    I have noticed, the more people seem to give attention to the subject of Islam, the more converts we seem to be getting.
     
    I think your perception is rather biased in this respect. Majorities in most European countries surveyed want a complete stop to Islamic immigration, and opinions about Islam have definitely hardened among the general public over the last few decades (even if unfortunately this isn't adequately reflected among political decision-makers). Hostility towards Islam seems to be a rather more common reaction to contact with Muslims or the increasing prominence of Islam in Europe than any fascination or sympathy for the religion. The number of converts to Islam isn't very significant.

    Vigilantism has no place in this at all – period. Muslims that are allowed into the West are in the reverse position of non-Muslims in Muslim lands – they have to obey the law of the land.
     
    Frankly, all of this sounds to me like a tactical respect for Western liberal values at best, like "Ok, we'll respect Western legal traditions and liberties as long as we have to, but if we could, we would remake the system according to our own religious values". Needless to say, I don't find this reassuring, and I don't think any multiethnic or multireligious democracy (which would be under a lot of strain even under the best conditions) can last if such views become influential. Islamic immigration to the West needs to end, Westerners' and Muslims' views about how a society should be organized are clearly incompatible.
    , @jim jones
    Malaysia is moving towards Hudud law
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  57. Talha says:

    Excellent read on a related subject:
    “Locke, Spinoza and Voltaire were all brilliant, but religious freedom in Europe was driven by statecraft not philosophy…”
    “The process of centralisation and bureaucratisation brought other important consequences. It meant that identity rules had to be abandoned. In their place, states instituted more general rules. Guilds lost their monopoly privileges. Legal systems became increasingly standardised; taxes more regularised. For states with bureaucracies and professional tax collectors, it was simply less costly to treat everyone equally. Discriminatory rules against Catholics, Protestants or Jews either became redundant over time or were eventually done away with. Though gradual and fitful, this levelling process proved inexorable and, in the long-run, irreversible….”
    “Most important perhaps is the need to recognise that liberal ideas were not necessarily responsible for the emergence of liberal societies. Instead, the rise of a new type of political organisation, the modern state, led, for its own reasons, to rulers enforcing general rules of behaviour – rules incompatible with religious discrimination.”

    https://aeon.co/amp/essays/the-modern-state-not-ideas-brought-about-religious-freedom

    Peace.

    Read More
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  58. @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    Thanks for the honest answer.
     
    No problem. Now that is simply my opinion on the matter. As I mentioned, the Hanafi school keeps things fairly open on the discretionary punishment. If Westerners adopt Islam en masse and roll with the Hanafi position on things, they will likely give it as wide a breadth as possible and not have very tough punishments (maybe small jail terms, maybe fines, etc. - I think that's how Malaysia rolls) - but I cannot tell what the future holds. They may adopt more strict views as well, I simply don't know because it is not an open and shut case.

    Muslims getting the power to enforce their taboos on speech and thought in the West
     
    We've already discussed that there is no true unrestricted free speech anywhere - it is all based on considerations of harm to other individuals and society. Our parameters are simply different - and, I would say - less restrictive than Europe before its trend toward secularization. As I outlined to Anon, Mufti Muhammad Shafi'i's opinion seems to balance the need to allow for academic and scholarly criticism while restricting that which is rude and vile. Some may consider that not allowing blasphemy (in that sense) is a form of oppression - we certainly don't.

    people self-censoring their public statements about Islam
     
    I have noticed, the more people seem to give attention to the subject of Islam, the more converts we seem to be getting. Didn't PT Barnum say something like, "There's no such thing as bad publicity".

    no one wants to end up like Theo van Gogh
     
    Vigilantism has no place in this at all - period. Muslims that are allowed into the West are in the reverse position of non-Muslims in Muslim lands - they have to obey the law of the land. If they don't like it that random non-Muslims are insulting Islam around them, they have a choice - they can leave. All cases in Muslim lands should go through proper and open court procedures with valid evidence and allow the defendant to present their case.

    Peace.

    I have noticed, the more people seem to give attention to the subject of Islam, the more converts we seem to be getting.

    I think your perception is rather biased in this respect. Majorities in most European countries surveyed want a complete stop to Islamic immigration, and opinions about Islam have definitely hardened among the general public over the last few decades (even if unfortunately this isn’t adequately reflected among political decision-makers). Hostility towards Islam seems to be a rather more common reaction to contact with Muslims or the increasing prominence of Islam in Europe than any fascination or sympathy for the religion. The number of converts to Islam isn’t very significant.

    Vigilantism has no place in this at all – period. Muslims that are allowed into the West are in the reverse position of non-Muslims in Muslim lands – they have to obey the law of the land.

    Frankly, all of this sounds to me like a tactical respect for Western liberal values at best, like “Ok, we’ll respect Western legal traditions and liberties as long as we have to, but if we could, we would remake the system according to our own religious values”. Needless to say, I don’t find this reassuring, and I don’t think any multiethnic or multireligious democracy (which would be under a lot of strain even under the best conditions) can last if such views become influential. Islamic immigration to the West needs to end, Westerners’ and Muslims’ views about how a society should be organized are clearly incompatible.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    The number of converts to Islam isn’t very significant.
     
    It never is at the beginning.

    “Ok, we’ll respect Western legal traditions and liberties as long as we have to, but if we could, we would remake the system according to our own religious values”
     
    Correct - and this makes us different from who exactly? This is the way democracy/majority rule works right? I mean - if you have enough people that think a certain way, they will change the laws to reflect their worldview. Right now most people think it is fine to mock God in the public sphere - or at least not restrict it - they didn't used to, but now they do. Now if most people switch their philosophy about that - there is simply nothing underhanded going on. People used to think women shouldn't vote. Then they decided maybe they should. Maybe they'll switch back and take that right away - and all of it will be done quite openly and with full public input.

    For example, maybe you don't know much about the US, but here we have a state called Utah. It's full of Mormons. Like Muslims, Mormons don't drink alcohol. Is it any wonder their state has the most restrictive laws on alcohol?
    "The alcohol laws of Utah regulate the selling and purchasing of alcohol in the United States state of Utah and are some of the most restrictive in the United States."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_laws_of_Utah

    democracy can last if such views become influential
     
    It will remain democratic - the majority will rule. It won't be how it is now, but there simply is no contradiction. I don't know how it is in Germany, in the US, the entire Constitution can be changed if there are enough people that want it to be.

    Again, I have no problem at all if the West restricts immigration.

    Peace.
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  59. Talha says:
    @German_reader

    I have noticed, the more people seem to give attention to the subject of Islam, the more converts we seem to be getting.
     
    I think your perception is rather biased in this respect. Majorities in most European countries surveyed want a complete stop to Islamic immigration, and opinions about Islam have definitely hardened among the general public over the last few decades (even if unfortunately this isn't adequately reflected among political decision-makers). Hostility towards Islam seems to be a rather more common reaction to contact with Muslims or the increasing prominence of Islam in Europe than any fascination or sympathy for the religion. The number of converts to Islam isn't very significant.

    Vigilantism has no place in this at all – period. Muslims that are allowed into the West are in the reverse position of non-Muslims in Muslim lands – they have to obey the law of the land.
     
    Frankly, all of this sounds to me like a tactical respect for Western liberal values at best, like "Ok, we'll respect Western legal traditions and liberties as long as we have to, but if we could, we would remake the system according to our own religious values". Needless to say, I don't find this reassuring, and I don't think any multiethnic or multireligious democracy (which would be under a lot of strain even under the best conditions) can last if such views become influential. Islamic immigration to the West needs to end, Westerners' and Muslims' views about how a society should be organized are clearly incompatible.

    The number of converts to Islam isn’t very significant.

    It never is at the beginning.

    “Ok, we’ll respect Western legal traditions and liberties as long as we have to, but if we could, we would remake the system according to our own religious values”

    Correct – and this makes us different from who exactly? This is the way democracy/majority rule works right? I mean – if you have enough people that think a certain way, they will change the laws to reflect their worldview. Right now most people think it is fine to mock God in the public sphere – or at least not restrict it – they didn’t used to, but now they do. Now if most people switch their philosophy about that – there is simply nothing underhanded going on. People used to think women shouldn’t vote. Then they decided maybe they should. Maybe they’ll switch back and take that right away – and all of it will be done quite openly and with full public input.

    For example, maybe you don’t know much about the US, but here we have a state called Utah. It’s full of Mormons. Like Muslims, Mormons don’t drink alcohol. Is it any wonder their state has the most restrictive laws on alcohol?
    “The alcohol laws of Utah regulate the selling and purchasing of alcohol in the United States state of Utah and are some of the most restrictive in the United States.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_laws_of_Utah

    democracy can last if such views become influential

    It will remain democratic – the majority will rule. It won’t be how it is now, but there simply is no contradiction. I don’t know how it is in Germany, in the US, the entire Constitution can be changed if there are enough people that want it to be.

    Again, I have no problem at all if the West restricts immigration.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    It will remain democratic – the majority will rule.
     
    That's a rather illiberal understanding of democracy imo that could easily degenerate into mob rule or oppression. Now personally I'm dissatisfied with the state of democracy throughout the west since on many issues (not least immigration and multiculturalism) the wishes of large segments of the population have been consistently ignored by political elites. But you're basically stating that if it would be possible, you'd be in favour of abolishing core elements of the present democratic order and enact laws criminalizing insults against your own (and only your own) religion. Sorry, but it should be obvious imo that this is the kind of view that cannout but lead to severe civil strife (since it will inevitably generate justified fear and suspicion and reduce everything to a power struggle), and which could also backfire badly on those holding that view.
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  60. @Talha

    The number of converts to Islam isn’t very significant.
     
    It never is at the beginning.

    “Ok, we’ll respect Western legal traditions and liberties as long as we have to, but if we could, we would remake the system according to our own religious values”
     
    Correct - and this makes us different from who exactly? This is the way democracy/majority rule works right? I mean - if you have enough people that think a certain way, they will change the laws to reflect their worldview. Right now most people think it is fine to mock God in the public sphere - or at least not restrict it - they didn't used to, but now they do. Now if most people switch their philosophy about that - there is simply nothing underhanded going on. People used to think women shouldn't vote. Then they decided maybe they should. Maybe they'll switch back and take that right away - and all of it will be done quite openly and with full public input.

    For example, maybe you don't know much about the US, but here we have a state called Utah. It's full of Mormons. Like Muslims, Mormons don't drink alcohol. Is it any wonder their state has the most restrictive laws on alcohol?
    "The alcohol laws of Utah regulate the selling and purchasing of alcohol in the United States state of Utah and are some of the most restrictive in the United States."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_laws_of_Utah

    democracy can last if such views become influential
     
    It will remain democratic - the majority will rule. It won't be how it is now, but there simply is no contradiction. I don't know how it is in Germany, in the US, the entire Constitution can be changed if there are enough people that want it to be.

    Again, I have no problem at all if the West restricts immigration.

    Peace.

    It will remain democratic – the majority will rule.

    That’s a rather illiberal understanding of democracy imo that could easily degenerate into mob rule or oppression. Now personally I’m dissatisfied with the state of democracy throughout the west since on many issues (not least immigration and multiculturalism) the wishes of large segments of the population have been consistently ignored by political elites. But you’re basically stating that if it would be possible, you’d be in favour of abolishing core elements of the present democratic order and enact laws criminalizing insults against your own (and only your own) religion. Sorry, but it should be obvious imo that this is the kind of view that cannout but lead to severe civil strife (since it will inevitably generate justified fear and suspicion and reduce everything to a power struggle), and which could also backfire badly on those holding that view.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    That’s a rather illiberal understanding of democracy imo that could easily degenerate into mob rule or oppression.
     
    Democracy is mob rule in a legal framework - we can't play games here. Genocide can be likened to democracy on steroids - if 95% want to eat the 5%, it is totally democratic. Constitutions cannot stand in the way - all of them can be amended to allow the 95 to eat the 5. It might not be right (morally), but that doesn't mean it isn't democratic - the entire process could be legal and democratic from A to Z. Democracy doesn't really care - intrinsically - about moral outcomes of its decisions - that is a fairy tell we like to tell ourselves. Liberal or illiberal - it remains democratic; was the US not democratic until it finally allowed for sodomy to not be considered a crime and allow public gay pride parades?

    But you’re basically stating that if it would be possible, you’d be in favour of abolishing core elements of the present democratic order and enact laws criminalizing insults against your own (and only your own) religion.
     
    No, I see no problem in prohibiting insults to other religions either - I already mentioned Imam Ibn Abidin's opinion on protecting the honor of non-Muslim citizens.

    this is the kind of view that cannout but lead to severe civil strife
     
    I see no reason why that necessarily must be the case, you're looking at the situation now and making that assumption. I already made it clear that this is a non-issue if Muslims are a minority. You're not looking at through the lens that I am; say in a Germany where 65% of its native population (ethnic Germans) is Muslim. How can you possibly project what that situation will even look like? By the time it gets there, will people even care for the right to insult religions?

    Go ask non-Muslims in Malaysia if they care enough about being restricted in not being able to publicly blaspheme to fight for that right? I think most of them simply want to make sure the law is not abused by somebody just to settle a score or something (and there should be legal safeguards to prevent it). Do you really think people will actually kill and die for the right to insult a religion (again, not academic or scholarly criticisms but like being able to step on or urinate on Qurans and such)? I mean if the population of the US tomorrow turned around and stated that insulting any other faith except for Islam was prohibited - it honestly wouldn't change anything to me - I don't care to insult other religions nor do I care to put my life on the line for trying to - frankly the idea sounds silly and immature. Like those guys who were walking around a mosque wearing F*** Islam T-shirts and with loaded rifles - it's funny now, but would they be willing to face off against a Muslim militia or police force for that right? My money is on that most people frankly don't care - it's probably #96 on the top 100 things they fret over.

    Peace.
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  61. Talha says:
    @German_reader

    It will remain democratic – the majority will rule.
     
    That's a rather illiberal understanding of democracy imo that could easily degenerate into mob rule or oppression. Now personally I'm dissatisfied with the state of democracy throughout the west since on many issues (not least immigration and multiculturalism) the wishes of large segments of the population have been consistently ignored by political elites. But you're basically stating that if it would be possible, you'd be in favour of abolishing core elements of the present democratic order and enact laws criminalizing insults against your own (and only your own) religion. Sorry, but it should be obvious imo that this is the kind of view that cannout but lead to severe civil strife (since it will inevitably generate justified fear and suspicion and reduce everything to a power struggle), and which could also backfire badly on those holding that view.

    That’s a rather illiberal understanding of democracy imo that could easily degenerate into mob rule or oppression.

    Democracy is mob rule in a legal framework – we can’t play games here. Genocide can be likened to democracy on steroids – if 95% want to eat the 5%, it is totally democratic. Constitutions cannot stand in the way – all of them can be amended to allow the 95 to eat the 5. It might not be right (morally), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t democratic – the entire process could be legal and democratic from A to Z. Democracy doesn’t really care – intrinsically – about moral outcomes of its decisions – that is a fairy tell we like to tell ourselves. Liberal or illiberal – it remains democratic; was the US not democratic until it finally allowed for sodomy to not be considered a crime and allow public gay pride parades?

    But you’re basically stating that if it would be possible, you’d be in favour of abolishing core elements of the present democratic order and enact laws criminalizing insults against your own (and only your own) religion.

    No, I see no problem in prohibiting insults to other religions either – I already mentioned Imam Ibn Abidin’s opinion on protecting the honor of non-Muslim citizens.

    this is the kind of view that cannout but lead to severe civil strife

    I see no reason why that necessarily must be the case, you’re looking at the situation now and making that assumption. I already made it clear that this is a non-issue if Muslims are a minority. You’re not looking at through the lens that I am; say in a Germany where 65% of its native population (ethnic Germans) is Muslim. How can you possibly project what that situation will even look like? By the time it gets there, will people even care for the right to insult religions?

    Go ask non-Muslims in Malaysia if they care enough about being restricted in not being able to publicly blaspheme to fight for that right? I think most of them simply want to make sure the law is not abused by somebody just to settle a score or something (and there should be legal safeguards to prevent it). Do you really think people will actually kill and die for the right to insult a religion (again, not academic or scholarly criticisms but like being able to step on or urinate on Qurans and such)? I mean if the population of the US tomorrow turned around and stated that insulting any other faith except for Islam was prohibited – it honestly wouldn’t change anything to me – I don’t care to insult other religions nor do I care to put my life on the line for trying to – frankly the idea sounds silly and immature. Like those guys who were walking around a mosque wearing F*** Islam T-shirts and with loaded rifles – it’s funny now, but would they be willing to face off against a Muslim militia or police force for that right? My money is on that most people frankly don’t care – it’s probably #96 on the top 100 things they fret over.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    As a working example - a bunch of people on UNZ like Russia, like Putin and support a lot of what he does. Russia recently totally shut down Jehovah's Witnesses in their country. It was all done completely openly and legally. I didn't see a bunch of them go bonkers about it. And Jehovah's Witnesses are about as close as you can get to a cuddly teddy bear religion. How many do you think changed their minds on Putin or Russia based on that?
    , @German_reader

    I don’t care to insult other religions nor do I care to put my life on the line for trying to
     
    Well, the question is what exactly would constitute an insult. I mean, ok, I believe you that you don't go out of your way to mock other people's religious beliefs, use vulgar words about them etc. But clearly you believe that their faiths are false, defective and harmful. A negative view of Christianity (which supposedly has deviated from true monotheism) is pretty much an essential feature of Islam as I understand it, as is negation of Christ's divinity. And the traditional Islamic view of non-Abrahamic faiths like Hinduism is of course even more negative (polytheistic idolaters etc.). So I don't think it would be difficult to find Islamic preachers making highly derogatory statements about other faiths and warning Muslims to keep their distance from them.
    But as I understand it, Pakistan's blasphemy laws penalize exactly such behaviour when it's directed against Islam...if someone would stand on a public street somewhere in Pakistan and declare in front of others "Mohammed wasn't God's prophet, he was one of the false prophets the Apostles warned us against. Maybe he was deceived by Satan" (a possible Christian interpretation of Mohammed's life), that would, I suppose, count as insulting the prophet Mohammed and be subject to severe punishment.
    Now as I wrote before punishments in such a case might be legitimate in multi-religious societies to prevent inter-communal disturbances...but obviously they would have to be applied even-handedly then, not privileging a particular faith, while others are oppressed. Punishment by the state in defense of religious orthodoxy in any case is incompatible with the development of Western thought and of democracy in Western societies since the 18th century.
    But I guess we'll just have to disagree about this.
    , @Mikel
    Hi Talha,

    As you may remember from previous discussions, as an atheist I believe that your religion is particularly nutty and the passages of the Coran that I was able to read before giving up seemed to me written by some deranged fellow. Or perhaps he was just high on some form of fermented camel milk or something. That much I couldn't tell.

    But, as a matter of fact, I respect religious people. Why spoil their party and interfere with their ability to believe in the after-life? That must make their lives easier and alleviate the existential anguish that all rational people share, I presume. So, you're right, being able to insult the prophets or the paranormal beings that you guys believe in is not a priority for me at all. But that is not the problem. The problem is that in Pakistan writing the first paragraph of this post would put me in very serious trouble. And that is the law that you Muslims would like to enforce everywhere.

    Effectively, you would like to make discussions like the one we are having here among adults illegal or, at the very least, highly risky, as they could end with a severe punishment for me at the discretion of some judge whose whole life is guided by the book I have just despised.

    So it's not a matter of being able to insult or not. It's a matter of giving up our freedom of expression and that is a big issue for many people here in the West. In fact, freedom of expression is at the core of this very blog, as I understand it.

    As an aside, you may claim that you also favor punishment for insults to other religions but the book you believe in is full of derogatory remarks against non-believers. Worse still, we are constantly threatened with very cruel retribution in this life and the next. Hardly a narrative conducive to a fair treatment of people of all beliefs.

    Best regards,

    Mikel
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  62. Talha says:
    @Talha

    That’s a rather illiberal understanding of democracy imo that could easily degenerate into mob rule or oppression.
     
    Democracy is mob rule in a legal framework - we can't play games here. Genocide can be likened to democracy on steroids - if 95% want to eat the 5%, it is totally democratic. Constitutions cannot stand in the way - all of them can be amended to allow the 95 to eat the 5. It might not be right (morally), but that doesn't mean it isn't democratic - the entire process could be legal and democratic from A to Z. Democracy doesn't really care - intrinsically - about moral outcomes of its decisions - that is a fairy tell we like to tell ourselves. Liberal or illiberal - it remains democratic; was the US not democratic until it finally allowed for sodomy to not be considered a crime and allow public gay pride parades?

    But you’re basically stating that if it would be possible, you’d be in favour of abolishing core elements of the present democratic order and enact laws criminalizing insults against your own (and only your own) religion.
     
    No, I see no problem in prohibiting insults to other religions either - I already mentioned Imam Ibn Abidin's opinion on protecting the honor of non-Muslim citizens.

    this is the kind of view that cannout but lead to severe civil strife
     
    I see no reason why that necessarily must be the case, you're looking at the situation now and making that assumption. I already made it clear that this is a non-issue if Muslims are a minority. You're not looking at through the lens that I am; say in a Germany where 65% of its native population (ethnic Germans) is Muslim. How can you possibly project what that situation will even look like? By the time it gets there, will people even care for the right to insult religions?

    Go ask non-Muslims in Malaysia if they care enough about being restricted in not being able to publicly blaspheme to fight for that right? I think most of them simply want to make sure the law is not abused by somebody just to settle a score or something (and there should be legal safeguards to prevent it). Do you really think people will actually kill and die for the right to insult a religion (again, not academic or scholarly criticisms but like being able to step on or urinate on Qurans and such)? I mean if the population of the US tomorrow turned around and stated that insulting any other faith except for Islam was prohibited - it honestly wouldn't change anything to me - I don't care to insult other religions nor do I care to put my life on the line for trying to - frankly the idea sounds silly and immature. Like those guys who were walking around a mosque wearing F*** Islam T-shirts and with loaded rifles - it's funny now, but would they be willing to face off against a Muslim militia or police force for that right? My money is on that most people frankly don't care - it's probably #96 on the top 100 things they fret over.

    Peace.

    As a working example – a bunch of people on UNZ like Russia, like Putin and support a lot of what he does. Russia recently totally shut down Jehovah’s Witnesses in their country. It was all done completely openly and legally. I didn’t see a bunch of them go bonkers about it. And Jehovah’s Witnesses are about as close as you can get to a cuddly teddy bear religion. How many do you think changed their minds on Putin or Russia based on that?

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    I'm not going bonkers about it either, but are there really enough Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia to make this even worth the trouble? What was going on there?

    By the way, who really likes Putin? My own feeling about this is just that the competition (here in Russia, and in many other countries) is so miserable he can't help looking good by comparison.

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  63. @Talha

    That’s a rather illiberal understanding of democracy imo that could easily degenerate into mob rule or oppression.
     
    Democracy is mob rule in a legal framework - we can't play games here. Genocide can be likened to democracy on steroids - if 95% want to eat the 5%, it is totally democratic. Constitutions cannot stand in the way - all of them can be amended to allow the 95 to eat the 5. It might not be right (morally), but that doesn't mean it isn't democratic - the entire process could be legal and democratic from A to Z. Democracy doesn't really care - intrinsically - about moral outcomes of its decisions - that is a fairy tell we like to tell ourselves. Liberal or illiberal - it remains democratic; was the US not democratic until it finally allowed for sodomy to not be considered a crime and allow public gay pride parades?

    But you’re basically stating that if it would be possible, you’d be in favour of abolishing core elements of the present democratic order and enact laws criminalizing insults against your own (and only your own) religion.
     
    No, I see no problem in prohibiting insults to other religions either - I already mentioned Imam Ibn Abidin's opinion on protecting the honor of non-Muslim citizens.

    this is the kind of view that cannout but lead to severe civil strife
     
    I see no reason why that necessarily must be the case, you're looking at the situation now and making that assumption. I already made it clear that this is a non-issue if Muslims are a minority. You're not looking at through the lens that I am; say in a Germany where 65% of its native population (ethnic Germans) is Muslim. How can you possibly project what that situation will even look like? By the time it gets there, will people even care for the right to insult religions?

    Go ask non-Muslims in Malaysia if they care enough about being restricted in not being able to publicly blaspheme to fight for that right? I think most of them simply want to make sure the law is not abused by somebody just to settle a score or something (and there should be legal safeguards to prevent it). Do you really think people will actually kill and die for the right to insult a religion (again, not academic or scholarly criticisms but like being able to step on or urinate on Qurans and such)? I mean if the population of the US tomorrow turned around and stated that insulting any other faith except for Islam was prohibited - it honestly wouldn't change anything to me - I don't care to insult other religions nor do I care to put my life on the line for trying to - frankly the idea sounds silly and immature. Like those guys who were walking around a mosque wearing F*** Islam T-shirts and with loaded rifles - it's funny now, but would they be willing to face off against a Muslim militia or police force for that right? My money is on that most people frankly don't care - it's probably #96 on the top 100 things they fret over.

    Peace.

    I don’t care to insult other religions nor do I care to put my life on the line for trying to

    Well, the question is what exactly would constitute an insult. I mean, ok, I believe you that you don’t go out of your way to mock other people’s religious beliefs, use vulgar words about them etc. But clearly you believe that their faiths are false, defective and harmful. A negative view of Christianity (which supposedly has deviated from true monotheism) is pretty much an essential feature of Islam as I understand it, as is negation of Christ’s divinity. And the traditional Islamic view of non-Abrahamic faiths like Hinduism is of course even more negative (polytheistic idolaters etc.). So I don’t think it would be difficult to find Islamic preachers making highly derogatory statements about other faiths and warning Muslims to keep their distance from them.
    But as I understand it, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws penalize exactly such behaviour when it’s directed against Islam…if someone would stand on a public street somewhere in Pakistan and declare in front of others “Mohammed wasn’t God’s prophet, he was one of the false prophets the Apostles warned us against. Maybe he was deceived by Satan” (a possible Christian interpretation of Mohammed’s life), that would, I suppose, count as insulting the prophet Mohammed and be subject to severe punishment.
    Now as I wrote before punishments in such a case might be legitimate in multi-religious societies to prevent inter-communal disturbances…but obviously they would have to be applied even-handedly then, not privileging a particular faith, while others are oppressed. Punishment by the state in defense of religious orthodoxy in any case is incompatible with the development of Western thought and of democracy in Western societies since the 18th century.
    But I guess we’ll just have to disagree about this.

    Read More
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  64. @Talha
    As a working example - a bunch of people on UNZ like Russia, like Putin and support a lot of what he does. Russia recently totally shut down Jehovah's Witnesses in their country. It was all done completely openly and legally. I didn't see a bunch of them go bonkers about it. And Jehovah's Witnesses are about as close as you can get to a cuddly teddy bear religion. How many do you think changed their minds on Putin or Russia based on that?

    I’m not going bonkers about it either, but are there really enough Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia to make this even worth the trouble? What was going on there?

    By the way, who really likes Putin? My own feeling about this is just that the competition (here in Russia, and in many other countries) is so miserable he can’t help looking good by comparison.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey TBRS,

    are there really enough Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia to make this even worth the trouble?
     
    Don't know, I was bringing it up a case in principle to look at. I don't think Orthodox Christians took to the streets to virtue signal about how all religions are equal in their sight. Neither do I think they care much that some random sect was shut down. And that was my point - most people actually do not care about restrictions on minutiae. Around here in the US - the Zionist-funded "advocacy groups" have people in a hysteria - you'd think if you lose the ability to draw a cartoon about a handful of historic individuals, it would be the end of your life and purpose - it's manufactured baloney. Look over there - Shariah's coming - don't pay mind if we dilute your retirement savings. Notice they don't mention that places like Germany have restrictions on Holocaust denial nor the fact that their society isn't falling apart due to that restriction.

    Lots of elderly Europeans retire to Morocco yearly (it is becoming a popular retirement destination). Morocco has blasphemy laws - I doubt those Europeans think twice about it.

    the competition (here in Russia, and in many other countries) is so miserable he can’t help looking good by comparison.
     
    Trump phenomenon - I think Putin could have won against Hillary - but then he'd have to deal with allegations that Russia interfered with the election.

    Peace.
    , @Anon
    My feeling is that someone in the Duma was just so pestered by some particularly obnoxious fellow that he felt he had to express himself somehow, or else that someone thought JWs were spies, or actually found some were. Weird but not really remarkable.

    Now, were the JWs to operate in Pakistan, they would find themselves in considerable trouble.

    Some apparently have: https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2014/05/pakistani-blasphemy-law-used-against-popular-tv-channel-jehovahs-witnesses-and-more/
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  65. Talha says:
    @The Big Red Scary
    I'm not going bonkers about it either, but are there really enough Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia to make this even worth the trouble? What was going on there?

    By the way, who really likes Putin? My own feeling about this is just that the competition (here in Russia, and in many other countries) is so miserable he can't help looking good by comparison.

    Hey TBRS,

    are there really enough Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia to make this even worth the trouble?

    Don’t know, I was bringing it up a case in principle to look at. I don’t think Orthodox Christians took to the streets to virtue signal about how all religions are equal in their sight. Neither do I think they care much that some random sect was shut down. And that was my point – most people actually do not care about restrictions on minutiae. Around here in the US – the Zionist-funded “advocacy groups” have people in a hysteria – you’d think if you lose the ability to draw a cartoon about a handful of historic individuals, it would be the end of your life and purpose – it’s manufactured baloney. Look over there – Shariah’s coming – don’t pay mind if we dilute your retirement savings. Notice they don’t mention that places like Germany have restrictions on Holocaust denial nor the fact that their society isn’t falling apart due to that restriction.

    Lots of elderly Europeans retire to Morocco yearly (it is becoming a popular retirement destination). Morocco has blasphemy laws – I doubt those Europeans think twice about it.

    the competition (here in Russia, and in many other countries) is so miserable he can’t help looking good by comparison.

    Trump phenomenon – I think Putin could have won against Hillary – but then he’d have to deal with allegations that Russia interfered with the election.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Some might disagree that "their society isn't falling apart due to that restriction". Not that I'd necessarily be one of them.
    , @The Big Red Scary
    "I don’t think Orthodox Christians took to the streets to virtue signal about how all religions are equal in their sight. "

    In the US, if some bumpkin politician tried to put restrictions on the practice of some weird religion, it would be the courts, not popular protests, that would come to the defense of that weird religion. My own feeling as an Orthodox Christian is that I'd like to extend protection of the law even to the weirdest religious sects, so long as they don't advocate violence or abuse their members. Governments everywhere and always make a mess when they try to manage faith or family. Wherever possible, I prefer social norm to law in such matters, with the law covering only extreme violations of social norms.

    In Russia, there are four "traditional religions" (Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Orthodox Christianity) that have guaranteed protection of the law and at least some advisory representatives to the government. Almost everyone who is religious practices one of those four religions. Moreover, grave offenses against those religions will probably run afoul of the Russian version of "hate speech" laws. So this is the kind of situation that German_reader mentions: restriction of free speech to avoid conflict in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society. But social norms do a pretty good job ensuring that there is little conflict. In my experience, people are generally respectful of such personal and deep rooted differences. I personally don't favour "hate speech" laws since, as I said, everywhere and always government will make a mess. But I'm not going bonkers about it either.

    I don't know about "Trump phenomenon". I recommend watching an extended interview with Putin, for example the recent ones with Oliver Stone. There is little in Putin in common with either Clinton or Trump.
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  66. Mikel says:
    @Talha

    That’s a rather illiberal understanding of democracy imo that could easily degenerate into mob rule or oppression.
     
    Democracy is mob rule in a legal framework - we can't play games here. Genocide can be likened to democracy on steroids - if 95% want to eat the 5%, it is totally democratic. Constitutions cannot stand in the way - all of them can be amended to allow the 95 to eat the 5. It might not be right (morally), but that doesn't mean it isn't democratic - the entire process could be legal and democratic from A to Z. Democracy doesn't really care - intrinsically - about moral outcomes of its decisions - that is a fairy tell we like to tell ourselves. Liberal or illiberal - it remains democratic; was the US not democratic until it finally allowed for sodomy to not be considered a crime and allow public gay pride parades?

    But you’re basically stating that if it would be possible, you’d be in favour of abolishing core elements of the present democratic order and enact laws criminalizing insults against your own (and only your own) religion.
     
    No, I see no problem in prohibiting insults to other religions either - I already mentioned Imam Ibn Abidin's opinion on protecting the honor of non-Muslim citizens.

    this is the kind of view that cannout but lead to severe civil strife
     
    I see no reason why that necessarily must be the case, you're looking at the situation now and making that assumption. I already made it clear that this is a non-issue if Muslims are a minority. You're not looking at through the lens that I am; say in a Germany where 65% of its native population (ethnic Germans) is Muslim. How can you possibly project what that situation will even look like? By the time it gets there, will people even care for the right to insult religions?

    Go ask non-Muslims in Malaysia if they care enough about being restricted in not being able to publicly blaspheme to fight for that right? I think most of them simply want to make sure the law is not abused by somebody just to settle a score or something (and there should be legal safeguards to prevent it). Do you really think people will actually kill and die for the right to insult a religion (again, not academic or scholarly criticisms but like being able to step on or urinate on Qurans and such)? I mean if the population of the US tomorrow turned around and stated that insulting any other faith except for Islam was prohibited - it honestly wouldn't change anything to me - I don't care to insult other religions nor do I care to put my life on the line for trying to - frankly the idea sounds silly and immature. Like those guys who were walking around a mosque wearing F*** Islam T-shirts and with loaded rifles - it's funny now, but would they be willing to face off against a Muslim militia or police force for that right? My money is on that most people frankly don't care - it's probably #96 on the top 100 things they fret over.

    Peace.

    Hi Talha,

    As you may remember from previous discussions, as an atheist I believe that your religion is particularly nutty and the passages of the Coran that I was able to read before giving up seemed to me written by some deranged fellow. Or perhaps he was just high on some form of fermented camel milk or something. That much I couldn’t tell.

    But, as a matter of fact, I respect religious people. Why spoil their party and interfere with their ability to believe in the after-life? That must make their lives easier and alleviate the existential anguish that all rational people share, I presume. So, you’re right, being able to insult the prophets or the paranormal beings that you guys believe in is not a priority for me at all. But that is not the problem. The problem is that in Pakistan writing the first paragraph of this post would put me in very serious trouble. And that is the law that you Muslims would like to enforce everywhere.

    Effectively, you would like to make discussions like the one we are having here among adults illegal or, at the very least, highly risky, as they could end with a severe punishment for me at the discretion of some judge whose whole life is guided by the book I have just despised.

    So it’s not a matter of being able to insult or not. It’s a matter of giving up our freedom of expression and that is a big issue for many people here in the West. In fact, freedom of expression is at the core of this very blog, as I understand it.

    As an aside, you may claim that you also favor punishment for insults to other religions but the book you believe in is full of derogatory remarks against non-believers. Worse still, we are constantly threatened with very cruel retribution in this life and the next. Hardly a narrative conducive to a fair treatment of people of all beliefs.

    Best regards,

    Mikel

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hi Mikel,

    The problem is that in Pakistan writing the first paragraph of this post would put me in very serious trouble. And that is the law that you Muslims would like to enforce everywhere.
     
    This is simply inaccurate. There is nothing in what I wrote that presumes that Islamic legal manifestation will play out in the West exactly as it has in Pakistan, or that it is desirable. I made it clear that; 1) the Islamic legal framework is quite open (and presented evidence) in adopting to localized variations on this subject and that 2) the people of the West have little chance in becoming a carbon copy of Pakistan in this respect. There are ways to prevent blasphemy from happening publicly and those are not restricted to life imprisonment or death - in fact, Russia took this problem on with that idiotic punk band, Pussy Riot.

    you would like to make discussions like the one we are having here among adults illegal
     
    No - again, I made it clear, discussions and scholarly criticisms and debates are just fine and have been:
    “One author gives a vivid description which may date from as early as 850 AD, though is probably slightly later, of a Christian metropolitan openly processing through the Karkh market in Baghdad on his way to debate with a Muslim followed by a great entourage of bishops and priests all wearing their black habits with their hoods pulled up over their heads, a striking and impressive spectacle.”
    http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/anvil/06-1_023.pdf

    Insults and invective are not tolerated.

    It’s a matter of giving up our freedom of expression and that is a big issue for many people here in the West.
     
    It is, which is why you cannot put your foot down about anything. I've seen photos of a gay pride parade - can't shut it down because people gotta express themselves. And let's not forget cross and baby christ dildos:
    http://divine-interventions.com/religioustoys.php

    Why should we tolerate this kind of nonsense? So we can virtue-signal that we are liberals? Not interested - Islam has never made a claim that it is liberal.

    the book you believe in is full of derogatory remarks against non-believers
     
    Sure - we're not perennialists. And besides, some non-believers deserve to be confronted while others should be treated with respect:
    "God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loves those who are just." (60:8)

    The wisdom is in knowing when to do what.

    Worse still, we are constantly threatened with very cruel retribution in this life and the next.
     
    No - the threat is only for the next life unless you go to war with the Muslims - then you better believe you will be threatened in this life.

    I recently watched a short documentary about some Greeks returning to paganism - fascinating. Now if they told me that if I don't believe in the deities of Mt. Olympus, that Zeus would punish me in Hades after I die, I wouldn't think anything of it - wouldn't lose a wink of sleep. Because it has no ontological reality to me. Why are atheists so concerned about a false transcendental God that punishes their non-existent souls in a non-existent hell during a false after-life? It's just a myth anyway - get over it.

    But you never answered my previous question:
    But if there is a metaphysical reality and It has a will and has willed humans into being and It provided for humans from their cradle to their grave and all the joys of life that come with existence and It expects humans to behave in a certain way in order to show gratitude and It has communicated that. Then you can’t really expect to be treated the same while being a slave in rebellion to a slave in submission – can you?

    Read the first paragraph that you wrote; you demand the right to be able to insult Him and His emissaries and then expect what in return - Paradise??!! Are you serious? Why does He need you - He has billions of people who believe in Him, beg from Him and revolve their entire lives around Him. Why should He treat you the same as them? Why are you the special snowflake?

    How did the West manage to take the Lord-of-all-that-exists and turn him into the Chump-of-tha-feelz that caters to "muh blasphemy"?

    Hardly a narrative conducive to a fair treatment of people of all beliefs.
     
    Having respect for other faiths and guaranteeing them protection does not entail having to grant them equal rights. If nations in the West decided that Islam could no longer be preached to non-Muslims - or decided to enforce rules that non-Muslim women cannot marry Muslim men (like we do in reverse for our women). Well, that would certainly not be treating it equally with other faiths, but I would hardly categorize that as oppression. Taking away a privilege is not oppression. Now if they decided to steal our children, rape our women or destroy mosques - now that would be oppressive.

    Peace.
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  67. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @The Big Red Scary
    I'm not going bonkers about it either, but are there really enough Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia to make this even worth the trouble? What was going on there?

    By the way, who really likes Putin? My own feeling about this is just that the competition (here in Russia, and in many other countries) is so miserable he can't help looking good by comparison.

    My feeling is that someone in the Duma was just so pestered by some particularly obnoxious fellow that he felt he had to express himself somehow, or else that someone thought JWs were spies, or actually found some were. Weird but not really remarkable.

    Now, were the JWs to operate in Pakistan, they would find themselves in considerable trouble.

    Some apparently have: https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2014/05/pakistani-blasphemy-law-used-against-popular-tv-channel-jehovahs-witnesses-and-more/

    Read More
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  68. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Talha
    Hey TBRS,

    are there really enough Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia to make this even worth the trouble?
     
    Don't know, I was bringing it up a case in principle to look at. I don't think Orthodox Christians took to the streets to virtue signal about how all religions are equal in their sight. Neither do I think they care much that some random sect was shut down. And that was my point - most people actually do not care about restrictions on minutiae. Around here in the US - the Zionist-funded "advocacy groups" have people in a hysteria - you'd think if you lose the ability to draw a cartoon about a handful of historic individuals, it would be the end of your life and purpose - it's manufactured baloney. Look over there - Shariah's coming - don't pay mind if we dilute your retirement savings. Notice they don't mention that places like Germany have restrictions on Holocaust denial nor the fact that their society isn't falling apart due to that restriction.

    Lots of elderly Europeans retire to Morocco yearly (it is becoming a popular retirement destination). Morocco has blasphemy laws - I doubt those Europeans think twice about it.

    the competition (here in Russia, and in many other countries) is so miserable he can’t help looking good by comparison.
     
    Trump phenomenon - I think Putin could have won against Hillary - but then he'd have to deal with allegations that Russia interfered with the election.

    Peace.

    Some might disagree that “their society isn’t falling apart due to that restriction”. Not that I’d necessarily be one of them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    And some SJWs get triggered by micro-aggressions. I don't spend much time worrying about people's feelz. If they think the society is truly falling apart due to that limitation - they should get off the internet and start doing some serious organizing or protesting or something - otherwise they are just talking hot air or they are chumps.

    Peace.
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  69. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    Good questions. Keep in mind that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic. Even states like Iraq that are not so labeled have Islam enshrined as the official state religion. That is the moral and ethical foundation upon which the society is built; Muslims never claim to build their societies on secular foundations. Thus Islam will always be pre-eminent in the land and Islam is what both guarantees and limits the rights of the followers of other religions of that land.

    The laws that came into being as a result of the debate on the Ahmadis actually started up in the 70s. And no, they are not heretics - they are not Muslim. Both the Sunni and Shiah are in agreement on this. as far as I know. Pakistan has a significant Shiah population (around 20%) and I don't really know of any official laws that give Sunni Islam a leg up over the Shiah interpretation - I would love to be corrected on this.

    This clearly privileges Islam compared to other religions or world views.
     
    Correct - as it is a Muslim land.

    It gives free reign to Islam’s vitriol against other faiths (Hindus as polytheistic idolaters, or accusing Christians of having deviated from true monotheism) while seeking to immunize Islam against the same by the threat of most severe punishments.
     
    Let me backtrack a bit. I said that blasphemy is not a right of religious minorities. There is actually nuance to this issue. All of the schools assume that a level of blasphemy is protected by the covenant between Muslims and non-Muslim minorities - this is what is entailed by their following their religion; things like claiming God came in the form of an avatar or that He has a son, or that the Prophet (pbuh) is not true, etc. This is their protected right. This is also the reason why the Hanafi school (from the earliest time) has stated that the covenant (when it is concluded in general terms and without specific mention of blasphemy) does not automatically break by them committing blasphemy (since a certain level of blasphemy is assumed to be among their rights by practicing their faith). However, if it is stipulated (as it is in Pakistan) with certain clear terms (such as reviling the Prophet [pbuh] or the Qur'an, etc. openly and publicly) then there is no problem in punishing the crime according to the law of the land - this is what the 19th century Ottoman scholar, Imam Ibn Abidin (ra) concluded when looking at the various historic opinions of the school.

    Keep in mind, this is all based on incidents that the Hanafi school examines within the Prophet's lifetime; like the delegation of Christians from Najran that came to conclude a covenant with the Prophet (pbuh) and debated theological points with him and a group of Jews who used to greet him by saying "Assaamu alaikum (death be upon you)" instead of "Assalaamu alaikum (peace be upon you)" and he didn't do anything to them.

    Do you really believe that someone who has actually “defiled” the Quran or insulted the name of Mohammed should be imprisoned for life or executed?
     
    Again, because the Hanafi school is more open than the other schools as to how to apply discretionary punishment on the matter, I wouldn't do something like that right away. The punishment should be deterrent, but I'd rather see it on some kind of a increasing level of punishment based on numbers of infractions; first time = public flogging or short imprisonment (that will be enough to deter most people), second time = longer imprisonment, third = life imprisonment, exile (non-Muslim nations can line up to take them if they want), etc.

    Peace.

    By our western definition of heresy (“a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas”, ST II-II:11:1), and altering “Christ” to “Mohammed”, the Ahmadis would seem to be heretical with respect to Sunni Islam.

    This seems reasonable since “heresy” is an English word.

    Are they universally considered non-Muslim by the Shia as well?

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Sure - our words zindeeq (or mubtadi) and murtad have their own formal lexical definitions - the closest respective translations most scholars have used are heretic and apostate, respectively.

    Are they universally considered non-Muslim by the Shia as well?
     
    You'd have to do a survey to find out, but I have a hard time believing that anyone who thinks a prophet came after the Prophet (pbuh) is still a Muslim. Certainly Al-Azhar declared them as such and they are actually very, very careful about that sort of thing.

    Peace.
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  70. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @DFH
    That's what navies and landmines are for

    Only good if you have the self-respect and political will to use them.

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  71. Talha says:
    @Anon
    By our western definition of heresy ("a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas", ST II-II:11:1), and altering "Christ" to "Mohammed", the Ahmadis would seem to be heretical with respect to Sunni Islam.

    This seems reasonable since "heresy" is an English word.

    Are they universally considered non-Muslim by the Shia as well?

    Sure – our words zindeeq (or mubtadi) and murtad have their own formal lexical definitions – the closest respective translations most scholars have used are heretic and apostate, respectively.

    Are they universally considered non-Muslim by the Shia as well?

    You’d have to do a survey to find out, but I have a hard time believing that anyone who thinks a prophet came after the Prophet (pbuh) is still a Muslim. Certainly Al-Azhar declared them as such and they are actually very, very careful about that sort of thing.

    Peace.

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  72. Talha says:
    @Anon
    Some might disagree that "their society isn't falling apart due to that restriction". Not that I'd necessarily be one of them.

    And some SJWs get triggered by micro-aggressions. I don’t spend much time worrying about people’s feelz. If they think the society is truly falling apart due to that limitation – they should get off the internet and start doing some serious organizing or protesting or something – otherwise they are just talking hot air or they are chumps.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    I understand that you don't care about feelings, but why should people care about what you feel about the feelings of third parties?
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  73. utu says:
    @German_reader
    Those weapons will be utterly useless against the threat of demographic expansion by Africa and some Islamic countries like Pakistan. I mean, ok, we can fantasize about things like just dropping neutron bombs on them to stop them from overrunning us, but in reality that's neither likely nor desirable.
    I agree with AP, it's dumb for right-wingers to deny the reality of climate change and not make at least an effort to see what could be done about it. The consequences of global warming on the 3rd world countries most affected are the perfect argument for legitimizing mass immigration to the northern hemisphere, and in fact you can already see such arguments being made (e.g. there are serious efforts in the EU parliament to create the category of "climate refugees").

    A: dumb for right-wingers to deny the reality of climate change

    B: the perfect argument for legitimizing mass immigration

    Your logic is ass backward.

    If we deny it, then mass immigration can’t be legitimized by what we claim is not happening.

    If we affirm it, then it does not mean we can stop if it is real but we still will have to own to it even if it is not man made.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Yes, but at some point it may well become an undeniable reality, and what you're going to do then? I agree with AP that the idea "Oh, we're just going to drop nukes on those brown and black horder who want to overrun us, so no need to give up our gas-guzzling monster cars now" is pretty dumb (and immoral, if one cares about that).
    And personally I'm convinced the climate change now happening is largely man-made. The question of course is what can and should be done about it (or if something can be done about it all without destroying modern industrial civilization). I don't have an answer to that question, but it seems foolish to me if the right tries to just ignore the issue and claim it's just a conspiracy by "warmists". It makes the right look stupid, materialist-consumerist and irresponsible. Concern about the environment may be one of the few good issues the Green left still has (since everything else in their programmes - e.g. multiculturalism, Islamophilia, Transgenderism etc. - is so clearly insane and disastrous), it should be taken away from them.
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  74. utu says:
    @Talha
    This makes sense. I mean people migrate from Nebraska to California because; hey, why the hell not??!!

    I agree that if the European elites don't set the right policies - to borrow from Field of Dreams; "If you build it, they will come."

    I do absolutely say though, that if Europeans are going to bring in any immigrants (especially from Muslim countries), they should do proper vetting. I personally do not want Muslims who cannot handle themselves in the West with proper decorum (whether it be committing terrorism, drinking, raping, fornicating, etc.) allowed in. It is better for the preservation of their faith (which is far more important than material increase) if they are kept in Muslim societies that have safeguards to restrict them. And it does non-Muslim citizens of the West no good to be victims of their profligacy.

    The funny thing is, the Muslims you likely want in Europe are those least likely to be eager to move there.

    Peace.

    I personally do not want Muslims who cannot handle themselves in the West with proper decorum

    You sound like a German Jew talking about the Ostjuden.

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  75. utu says:
    @Anon
    Kalash don't have reserved seats, do they??

    I've been told by people who have worked with Pakistani refugees in Sri Lanka that Pakistan is not a great place to be Christian. Bangladesh is probably better because their good relations with India depend on treating Hindus nicely.

    Various parts of India can of course be rough on Indian Muslims at times.

    I nearly studied in Croatia on an exchange program, but didn't. It's a good place and the people are polite, but I don't envy them their recent history.

    It’s a good place and the people are polite

    I have rather a dark view of Croats because of WWII and nowadays they are not exactly famous for being friendly.

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  76. @Talha
    Hey TBRS,

    are there really enough Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia to make this even worth the trouble?
     
    Don't know, I was bringing it up a case in principle to look at. I don't think Orthodox Christians took to the streets to virtue signal about how all religions are equal in their sight. Neither do I think they care much that some random sect was shut down. And that was my point - most people actually do not care about restrictions on minutiae. Around here in the US - the Zionist-funded "advocacy groups" have people in a hysteria - you'd think if you lose the ability to draw a cartoon about a handful of historic individuals, it would be the end of your life and purpose - it's manufactured baloney. Look over there - Shariah's coming - don't pay mind if we dilute your retirement savings. Notice they don't mention that places like Germany have restrictions on Holocaust denial nor the fact that their society isn't falling apart due to that restriction.

    Lots of elderly Europeans retire to Morocco yearly (it is becoming a popular retirement destination). Morocco has blasphemy laws - I doubt those Europeans think twice about it.

    the competition (here in Russia, and in many other countries) is so miserable he can’t help looking good by comparison.
     
    Trump phenomenon - I think Putin could have won against Hillary - but then he'd have to deal with allegations that Russia interfered with the election.

    Peace.

    “I don’t think Orthodox Christians took to the streets to virtue signal about how all religions are equal in their sight. ”

    In the US, if some bumpkin politician tried to put restrictions on the practice of some weird religion, it would be the courts, not popular protests, that would come to the defense of that weird religion. My own feeling as an Orthodox Christian is that I’d like to extend protection of the law even to the weirdest religious sects, so long as they don’t advocate violence or abuse their members. Governments everywhere and always make a mess when they try to manage faith or family. Wherever possible, I prefer social norm to law in such matters, with the law covering only extreme violations of social norms.

    In Russia, there are four “traditional religions” (Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Orthodox Christianity) that have guaranteed protection of the law and at least some advisory representatives to the government. Almost everyone who is religious practices one of those four religions. Moreover, grave offenses against those religions will probably run afoul of the Russian version of “hate speech” laws. So this is the kind of situation that German_reader mentions: restriction of free speech to avoid conflict in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society. But social norms do a pretty good job ensuring that there is little conflict. In my experience, people are generally respectful of such personal and deep rooted differences. I personally don’t favour “hate speech” laws since, as I said, everywhere and always government will make a mess. But I’m not going bonkers about it either.

    I don’t know about “Trump phenomenon”. I recommend watching an extended interview with Putin, for example the recent ones with Oliver Stone. There is little in Putin in common with either Clinton or Trump.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey TBRS,

    I’d like to extend protection of the law even to the weirdest religious sects
     
    Sure, I've got no problems with this.

    Governments everywhere and always make a mess when they try to manage faith or family. Wherever possible, I prefer social norm to law in such matters, with the law covering only extreme violations of social norms.
     
    This is fairly sound as well - I guess "extreme violations" will always be subjective.

    In my experience, people are generally respectful of such personal and deep rooted differences.
     
    I have found this to be the case as well. As you said, inculcating a culture of respect for these differences is a laudable goal.

    I recommend watching an extended interview with Putin, for example the recent ones with Oliver Stone.
     
    I did see some of that - very interesting and intelligent man. Reserved too.

    Peace.
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  77. jim jones says:
    @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    Thanks for the honest answer.
     
    No problem. Now that is simply my opinion on the matter. As I mentioned, the Hanafi school keeps things fairly open on the discretionary punishment. If Westerners adopt Islam en masse and roll with the Hanafi position on things, they will likely give it as wide a breadth as possible and not have very tough punishments (maybe small jail terms, maybe fines, etc. - I think that's how Malaysia rolls) - but I cannot tell what the future holds. They may adopt more strict views as well, I simply don't know because it is not an open and shut case.

    Muslims getting the power to enforce their taboos on speech and thought in the West
     
    We've already discussed that there is no true unrestricted free speech anywhere - it is all based on considerations of harm to other individuals and society. Our parameters are simply different - and, I would say - less restrictive than Europe before its trend toward secularization. As I outlined to Anon, Mufti Muhammad Shafi'i's opinion seems to balance the need to allow for academic and scholarly criticism while restricting that which is rude and vile. Some may consider that not allowing blasphemy (in that sense) is a form of oppression - we certainly don't.

    people self-censoring their public statements about Islam
     
    I have noticed, the more people seem to give attention to the subject of Islam, the more converts we seem to be getting. Didn't PT Barnum say something like, "There's no such thing as bad publicity".

    no one wants to end up like Theo van Gogh
     
    Vigilantism has no place in this at all - period. Muslims that are allowed into the West are in the reverse position of non-Muslims in Muslim lands - they have to obey the law of the land. If they don't like it that random non-Muslims are insulting Islam around them, they have a choice - they can leave. All cases in Muslim lands should go through proper and open court procedures with valid evidence and allow the defendant to present their case.

    Peace.

    Malaysia is moving towards Hudud law

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  78. @utu
    A: dumb for right-wingers to deny the reality of climate change

    B: the perfect argument for legitimizing mass immigration

    Your logic is ass backward.

    If we deny it, then mass immigration can't be legitimized by what we claim is not happening.

    If we affirm it, then it does not mean we can stop if it is real but we still will have to own to it even if it is not man made.

    Yes, but at some point it may well become an undeniable reality, and what you’re going to do then? I agree with AP that the idea “Oh, we’re just going to drop nukes on those brown and black horder who want to overrun us, so no need to give up our gas-guzzling monster cars now” is pretty dumb (and immoral, if one cares about that).
    And personally I’m convinced the climate change now happening is largely man-made. The question of course is what can and should be done about it (or if something can be done about it all without destroying modern industrial civilization). I don’t have an answer to that question, but it seems foolish to me if the right tries to just ignore the issue and claim it’s just a conspiracy by “warmists”. It makes the right look stupid, materialist-consumerist and irresponsible. Concern about the environment may be one of the few good issues the Green left still has (since everything else in their programmes – e.g. multiculturalism, Islamophilia, Transgenderism etc. – is so clearly insane and disastrous), it should be taken away from them.

    Read More
    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @utu
    The question of course is what can and should be done about it

    About what?

    Nobel laureate Ivar Giaever's speech at the Nobel Laureates meeting 1st July 2015
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCy_UOjEir0
    , @anon
    The obvious thing is to look at the root cause of climate change -- overpopulation.

    The real solution to carbon is to ban the use of coal by India and China. Plus other obvious stuff.

    The population explosion in the third world is a problem. Growth of emerging economies is a problem.

    Immigration from poor to rich countries is the single most polluting human activity going on today. You don't need science to figure out that every extra billion people strains the earth's resources and human societies that rack up population growth in the billions are a problem.

    They gave up on global warming. Climate isn't weather, no? Except when it helps someone's argument. I'm not a big believer of orthodox climate science. But believe too many people are messing up the planet. The change from 'warming' to 'change' was a big step. It might be because they didn't want to take a chance that we might have a cold spell. Or they want to be sure to be right, regardless of outcomes. Even though climate isn't weather -- it is certain that weather will change. Which is climate change, no? Or maybe the results will invert and we will end up with a pollution induced ice age. Still, it is an opportunity, not a problem.

    I suppose that the US right can't deal with its single issue anti abortion voters and come out against the orgy of breeding in Africa. But it is unsustainable.

    The right should adopt Teddy Roosevelt conservation with a bit of updating. Sustainability. Avoiding another billion Africans is a lot more efficient than paying carbon tax. Plus, Americans aren't big on giving up anything.

    By the way, Al Gore now believes that fracked natural gas is the 'bridge' fuel between coal and the next thing (to be decided, but green). So it is possible to adopt a position that is popular and fits with ideological goals.

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  79. utu says:
    @German_reader
    Yes, but at some point it may well become an undeniable reality, and what you're going to do then? I agree with AP that the idea "Oh, we're just going to drop nukes on those brown and black horder who want to overrun us, so no need to give up our gas-guzzling monster cars now" is pretty dumb (and immoral, if one cares about that).
    And personally I'm convinced the climate change now happening is largely man-made. The question of course is what can and should be done about it (or if something can be done about it all without destroying modern industrial civilization). I don't have an answer to that question, but it seems foolish to me if the right tries to just ignore the issue and claim it's just a conspiracy by "warmists". It makes the right look stupid, materialist-consumerist and irresponsible. Concern about the environment may be one of the few good issues the Green left still has (since everything else in their programmes - e.g. multiculturalism, Islamophilia, Transgenderism etc. - is so clearly insane and disastrous), it should be taken away from them.

    The question of course is what can and should be done about it

    About what?

    Nobel laureate Ivar Giaever’s speech at the Nobel Laureates meeting 1st July 2015

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    That guy is undoubtedly very smart, but he got his nobel prize for work on semiconductors. He's not an expert on climate research.
    Now I'm not qualified myself to come to an independent judgment about the issue of climate change (and you probably aren't either, like most people), but it seems to me there's a solid consensus among the scientific community actually doing research on the topic, that man-made climate change is indeed happening. I see no reason to doubt them. The question just is if we can or should do something about it.
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  80. @utu
    The question of course is what can and should be done about it

    About what?

    Nobel laureate Ivar Giaever's speech at the Nobel Laureates meeting 1st July 2015
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCy_UOjEir0

    That guy is undoubtedly very smart, but he got his nobel prize for work on semiconductors. He’s not an expert on climate research.
    Now I’m not qualified myself to come to an independent judgment about the issue of climate change (and you probably aren’t either, like most people), but it seems to me there’s a solid consensus among the scientific community actually doing research on the topic, that man-made climate change is indeed happening. I see no reason to doubt them. The question just is if we can or should do something about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    "consensus" - The appeal to consensus is the last thing that should come from a German. What about thinking for yourself for a change? Ivar Giaever makes good points on level accessible to everybody. It just takes a little common sense and good will.

    "you probably aren’t either" -I worked in the field including at NOAA. I know the people who make the consensus. In atmos science they are not the brightest bulbs.

    I am not really a denier. I understand the science but most publications are not good science. There is the group think effect with swings to group psychosis. And there is undeniable corruption.

    I am against the hype and relentless propaganda. Sky is not falling and it will not fall.
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  81. Talha says:
    @The Big Red Scary
    "I don’t think Orthodox Christians took to the streets to virtue signal about how all religions are equal in their sight. "

    In the US, if some bumpkin politician tried to put restrictions on the practice of some weird religion, it would be the courts, not popular protests, that would come to the defense of that weird religion. My own feeling as an Orthodox Christian is that I'd like to extend protection of the law even to the weirdest religious sects, so long as they don't advocate violence or abuse their members. Governments everywhere and always make a mess when they try to manage faith or family. Wherever possible, I prefer social norm to law in such matters, with the law covering only extreme violations of social norms.

    In Russia, there are four "traditional religions" (Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Orthodox Christianity) that have guaranteed protection of the law and at least some advisory representatives to the government. Almost everyone who is religious practices one of those four religions. Moreover, grave offenses against those religions will probably run afoul of the Russian version of "hate speech" laws. So this is the kind of situation that German_reader mentions: restriction of free speech to avoid conflict in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society. But social norms do a pretty good job ensuring that there is little conflict. In my experience, people are generally respectful of such personal and deep rooted differences. I personally don't favour "hate speech" laws since, as I said, everywhere and always government will make a mess. But I'm not going bonkers about it either.

    I don't know about "Trump phenomenon". I recommend watching an extended interview with Putin, for example the recent ones with Oliver Stone. There is little in Putin in common with either Clinton or Trump.

    Hey TBRS,

    I’d like to extend protection of the law even to the weirdest religious sects

    Sure, I’ve got no problems with this.

    Governments everywhere and always make a mess when they try to manage faith or family. Wherever possible, I prefer social norm to law in such matters, with the law covering only extreme violations of social norms.

    This is fairly sound as well – I guess “extreme violations” will always be subjective.

    In my experience, people are generally respectful of such personal and deep rooted differences.

    I have found this to be the case as well. As you said, inculcating a culture of respect for these differences is a laudable goal.

    I recommend watching an extended interview with Putin, for example the recent ones with Oliver Stone.

    I did see some of that – very interesting and intelligent man. Reserved too.

    Peace.

    Read More
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  82. utu says:
    @German_reader
    That guy is undoubtedly very smart, but he got his nobel prize for work on semiconductors. He's not an expert on climate research.
    Now I'm not qualified myself to come to an independent judgment about the issue of climate change (and you probably aren't either, like most people), but it seems to me there's a solid consensus among the scientific community actually doing research on the topic, that man-made climate change is indeed happening. I see no reason to doubt them. The question just is if we can or should do something about it.

    “consensus” – The appeal to consensus is the last thing that should come from a German. What about thinking for yourself for a change? Ivar Giaever makes good points on level accessible to everybody. It just takes a little common sense and good will.

    “you probably aren’t either” -I worked in the field including at NOAA. I know the people who make the consensus. In atmos science they are not the brightest bulbs.

    I am not really a denier. I understand the science but most publications are not good science. There is the group think effect with swings to group psychosis. And there is undeniable corruption.

    I am against the hype and relentless propaganda. Sky is not falling and it will not fall.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    Perhaps you could clarify what point you are making. I found the video to which you linked a bit rambling and imprecise. Presumably you agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that as the level 0f CO2 in the atmosphere increases, we should expect (and do observe) that average global temperature increases. So I suppose you are making some other points. Anatoly bans only holocaust deniers, so if you want to list your points, please do.
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  83. @utu
    "consensus" - The appeal to consensus is the last thing that should come from a German. What about thinking for yourself for a change? Ivar Giaever makes good points on level accessible to everybody. It just takes a little common sense and good will.

    "you probably aren’t either" -I worked in the field including at NOAA. I know the people who make the consensus. In atmos science they are not the brightest bulbs.

    I am not really a denier. I understand the science but most publications are not good science. There is the group think effect with swings to group psychosis. And there is undeniable corruption.

    I am against the hype and relentless propaganda. Sky is not falling and it will not fall.

    Perhaps you could clarify what point you are making. I found the video to which you linked a bit rambling and imprecise. Presumably you agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that as the level 0f CO2 in the atmosphere increases, we should expect (and do observe) that average global temperature increases. So I suppose you are making some other points. Anatoly bans only holocaust deniers, so if you want to list your points, please do.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    I found the video to which you linked a bit rambling and imprecise. - It may mean you are not really curious. He makes excellent points (not all) that should make you pause and think.

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas - Yes, but we do not even have good estimates on CO2 doubling impact on temperature in ideal case when feedbacks are not included. And we do not know much about the feedbacks. See Judith Curry
    https://judithcurry.com/2010/12/11/co2-no-feedback-sensitivity/

    Global temperature records cannot be trusted. With exception of UAH that goes back only to 1979.

    And there is corruption in the scientific community. Lots of work is driven by confirmation bias.

    In the meantime we are constantly fed nonsensical propaganda like what I saw today: Climate change 'is to blame for 7% spike in road deaths'
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4842192/Climate-change-caused-rise-traffic-collision-deaths.html

    The meme about climate change/global warming is being reinforced on daily bases.

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  84. utu says:
    @The Big Red Scary
    Perhaps you could clarify what point you are making. I found the video to which you linked a bit rambling and imprecise. Presumably you agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that as the level 0f CO2 in the atmosphere increases, we should expect (and do observe) that average global temperature increases. So I suppose you are making some other points. Anatoly bans only holocaust deniers, so if you want to list your points, please do.

    I found the video to which you linked a bit rambling and imprecise. – It may mean you are not really curious. He makes excellent points (not all) that should make you pause and think.

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas – Yes, but we do not even have good estimates on CO2 doubling impact on temperature in ideal case when feedbacks are not included. And we do not know much about the feedbacks. See Judith Curry

    https://judithcurry.com/2010/12/11/co2-no-feedback-sensitivity/

    Global temperature records cannot be trusted. With exception of UAH that goes back only to 1979.

    And there is corruption in the scientific community. Lots of work is driven by confirmation bias.

    In the meantime we are constantly fed nonsensical propaganda like what I saw today: Climate change ‘is to blame for 7% spike in road deaths’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4842192/Climate-change-caused-rise-traffic-collision-deaths.html

    The meme about climate change/global warming is being reinforced on daily bases.

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    • Replies: @VivaLaMigra
    Yeah, makes perfect sense to me. Nothing I'd rather do on a hot, rainy day than head out on the road, rather than stay inside where it's air conditioned. Yeah, my car is air-conditioned, too but I just love driving on rain-slicked roads where I'm more likely to have one of those 7% extra accidents!
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  85. Actually, I am curious and I am concerned about biases. That’s why I asked.

    Judith Curry’s website has a lot of useful information. I’ll look more carefully when I have a chance. My main point is consistent with her statement to the US Senate: “Anthropogenic climate change is a theory in which the basic mechanism is well understood, but whose magnitude is highly uncertain owing to feedback processes.”

    But I am a conservative person, and think that it is worth planning for worst case scenarios and weighing all costs and benefits relative to the known or suspected constraints. There are two classic questions in Russia:

    Who is to blame?

    and

    What to do?

    I am most interested in the second question.

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  86. Bangladesh has its population, or at least population GROWTH, “under control?” That’s a laugh! They’re still breeding like rats, same as the rest of the Third World. Effective and cheap contraception has been available for six decades now. These Hell Holes with their primitive, ignorant, superstitious, patriarchal societies refuse to use it. And the First World is supposed to just absorb a never-ending flow of their surplus. If their populations crashed by half tomorrow, they’d STILL be overpopulated.

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  87. Gee, if Pakistan’s principle river is supplied by ‘glacial runoff’ wouldn’t global warming be a GOOD thing, in the short run? And, hadn’t they better USE that ‘short run’ to institute a population REDUCTION policy, on a quite radical scale? And, by ‘radical’ I don’t mean merely something like China’s now discarded ‘one child’ policy, which has, incidentally, been a massive FAILURE! The ‘one child’ policy was planned to have China’s population PEAK at one BILLION, SEVEN HUNDRED MILLION, and STAY above one million for another fifty years. Now, it’s going to overshoot TWO BILLION, in the absence of a mass starvation, and never look back. Until, of course, Nature takes its course. Things that cannot go on forever, don’t. And population increase cannot. Critics of Malthus just had the timing and numbers wrong; it MUST end at some point because math doesn’t lie.

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  88. @AP
    An example of how building a wall while ignoring climate change and its consequences is incredibly short-sighted and stupid. Where will those hundreds of millions go when they can't feed each other?

    Personally, I don’t give a rodent’s posterior WHERE a few hundred million, or a billion, poor, low-IQ, uneducated, and culturally hostile Third World’ers go, as long as it isn’t HERE! They can go to Blazes for all I care; ultimately, billions of humans WILL go there, b/c the planet cannot sustain 12 billion people.

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  89. @utu
    I found the video to which you linked a bit rambling and imprecise. - It may mean you are not really curious. He makes excellent points (not all) that should make you pause and think.

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas - Yes, but we do not even have good estimates on CO2 doubling impact on temperature in ideal case when feedbacks are not included. And we do not know much about the feedbacks. See Judith Curry
    https://judithcurry.com/2010/12/11/co2-no-feedback-sensitivity/

    Global temperature records cannot be trusted. With exception of UAH that goes back only to 1979.

    And there is corruption in the scientific community. Lots of work is driven by confirmation bias.

    In the meantime we are constantly fed nonsensical propaganda like what I saw today: Climate change 'is to blame for 7% spike in road deaths'
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4842192/Climate-change-caused-rise-traffic-collision-deaths.html

    The meme about climate change/global warming is being reinforced on daily bases.

    Yeah, makes perfect sense to me. Nothing I’d rather do on a hot, rainy day than head out on the road, rather than stay inside where it’s air conditioned. Yeah, my car is air-conditioned, too but I just love driving on rain-slicked roads where I’m more likely to have one of those 7% extra accidents!

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    And did you notice this?

    Climate change is killing our sex drive
    http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/06/health/climate-change-sex-drive-birth-rate/index.html
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  90. utu says:
    @VivaLaMigra
    Yeah, makes perfect sense to me. Nothing I'd rather do on a hot, rainy day than head out on the road, rather than stay inside where it's air conditioned. Yeah, my car is air-conditioned, too but I just love driving on rain-slicked roads where I'm more likely to have one of those 7% extra accidents!

    And did you notice this?

    Climate change is killing our sex drive

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/06/health/climate-change-sex-drive-birth-rate/index.html

    Read More
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  91. rec1man says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    They must have found that one weird little trick that allows for a high TFR.

    Yes – Islam calls for high tfr to outbreed kafirs

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  92. rec1man says:
    @Erik Sieven
    I´d rather have 200 million Pakistanis in Europe than 200 million Subsaharan Africans, let to lone 5 billion Subsaharan Africans.

    Mass rapes of white girls in Rotterham, UK, was done by Pakistani muslims

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  93. rec1man says:
    @Ali Choudhury
    Previously the population was being estimated at being between 220 to 235m, so the number here is lower than expected. The Sindhis are a little pissed since they reckon refugees from Afghanistan are inflating the population counts of Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - giving them a larger proportion of fiscal transfers. Said immigrants then come over to Karachi, Sindh's capital and the country's largest city and bring their colourful cultural folkways with them. Some of their politicians have called for the 2 5m Afghan refugees (now entering their second generation here) to be immediately deported.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1319202

    In any case water stress is going to be a huge issue affecting not just Pakistan but Central Asian, Afghanistan, India, China and Bangladesh. China holds the most powerful position here due to it's control of Tibet which holds 70% of the region's water resources and is upstream from India. It has built close to 90,000 dams there in order to help divert massive amounts of water to parched northern China. That is bad for Indian water security and also for Bangladesh which gets 90% of its water via India.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/china-is-waging-a-water-war-on-india/story-6jqgabEffcatPFzJ6fQ6eJ.html

    River water flow from China is less than 5% of Indus and Brahmaputra and other Indian rivers ;

    Tibet is mostly glacial desert, most of the river waters supply due to monso0n rains – falls within India

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  94. Talha says:
    @Mikel
    Hi Talha,

    As you may remember from previous discussions, as an atheist I believe that your religion is particularly nutty and the passages of the Coran that I was able to read before giving up seemed to me written by some deranged fellow. Or perhaps he was just high on some form of fermented camel milk or something. That much I couldn't tell.

    But, as a matter of fact, I respect religious people. Why spoil their party and interfere with their ability to believe in the after-life? That must make their lives easier and alleviate the existential anguish that all rational people share, I presume. So, you're right, being able to insult the prophets or the paranormal beings that you guys believe in is not a priority for me at all. But that is not the problem. The problem is that in Pakistan writing the first paragraph of this post would put me in very serious trouble. And that is the law that you Muslims would like to enforce everywhere.

    Effectively, you would like to make discussions like the one we are having here among adults illegal or, at the very least, highly risky, as they could end with a severe punishment for me at the discretion of some judge whose whole life is guided by the book I have just despised.

    So it's not a matter of being able to insult or not. It's a matter of giving up our freedom of expression and that is a big issue for many people here in the West. In fact, freedom of expression is at the core of this very blog, as I understand it.

    As an aside, you may claim that you also favor punishment for insults to other religions but the book you believe in is full of derogatory remarks against non-believers. Worse still, we are constantly threatened with very cruel retribution in this life and the next. Hardly a narrative conducive to a fair treatment of people of all beliefs.

    Best regards,

    Mikel

    Hi Mikel,

    The problem is that in Pakistan writing the first paragraph of this post would put me in very serious trouble. And that is the law that you Muslims would like to enforce everywhere.

    This is simply inaccurate. There is nothing in what I wrote that presumes that Islamic legal manifestation will play out in the West exactly as it has in Pakistan, or that it is desirable. I made it clear that; 1) the Islamic legal framework is quite open (and presented evidence) in adopting to localized variations on this subject and that 2) the people of the West have little chance in becoming a carbon copy of Pakistan in this respect. There are ways to prevent blasphemy from happening publicly and those are not restricted to life imprisonment or death – in fact, Russia took this problem on with that idiotic punk band, Pussy Riot.

    you would like to make discussions like the one we are having here among adults illegal

    No – again, I made it clear, discussions and scholarly criticisms and debates are just fine and have been:
    “One author gives a vivid description which may date from as early as 850 AD, though is probably slightly later, of a Christian metropolitan openly processing through the Karkh market in Baghdad on his way to debate with a Muslim followed by a great entourage of bishops and priests all wearing their black habits with their hoods pulled up over their heads, a striking and impressive spectacle.”

    http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/anvil/06-1_023.pdf

    Insults and invective are not tolerated.

    It’s a matter of giving up our freedom of expression and that is a big issue for many people here in the West.

    It is, which is why you cannot put your foot down about anything. I’ve seen photos of a gay pride parade – can’t shut it down because people gotta express themselves. And let’s not forget cross and baby christ dildos:

    http://divine-interventions.com/religioustoys.php

    Why should we tolerate this kind of nonsense? So we can virtue-signal that we are liberals? Not interested – Islam has never made a claim that it is liberal.

    the book you believe in is full of derogatory remarks against non-believers

    Sure – we’re not perennialists. And besides, some non-believers deserve to be confronted while others should be treated with respect:
    “God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loves those who are just.” (60:8)

    The wisdom is in knowing when to do what.

    Worse still, we are constantly threatened with very cruel retribution in this life and the next.

    No – the threat is only for the next life unless you go to war with the Muslims – then you better believe you will be threatened in this life.

    I recently watched a short documentary about some Greeks returning to paganism – fascinating. Now if they told me that if I don’t believe in the deities of Mt. Olympus, that Zeus would punish me in Hades after I die, I wouldn’t think anything of it – wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep. Because it has no ontological reality to me. Why are atheists so concerned about a false transcendental God that punishes their non-existent souls in a non-existent hell during a false after-life? It’s just a myth anyway – get over it.

    But you never answered my previous question:
    But if there is a metaphysical reality and It has a will and has willed humans into being and It provided for humans from their cradle to their grave and all the joys of life that come with existence and It expects humans to behave in a certain way in order to show gratitude and It has communicated that. Then you can’t really expect to be treated the same while being a slave in rebellion to a slave in submission – can you?

    Read the first paragraph that you wrote; you demand the right to be able to insult Him and His emissaries and then expect what in return – Paradise??!! Are you serious? Why does He need you – He has billions of people who believe in Him, beg from Him and revolve their entire lives around Him. Why should He treat you the same as them? Why are you the special snowflake?

    How did the West manage to take the Lord-of-all-that-exists and turn him into the Chump-of-tha-feelz that caters to “muh blasphemy”?

    Hardly a narrative conducive to a fair treatment of people of all beliefs.

    Having respect for other faiths and guaranteeing them protection does not entail having to grant them equal rights. If nations in the West decided that Islam could no longer be preached to non-Muslims – or decided to enforce rules that non-Muslim women cannot marry Muslim men (like we do in reverse for our women). Well, that would certainly not be treating it equally with other faiths, but I would hardly categorize that as oppression. Taking away a privilege is not oppression. Now if they decided to steal our children, rape our women or destroy mosques – now that would be oppressive.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    There are ways to prevent blasphemy from happening publicly and those are not restricted to life imprisonment or death – in fact, Russia took this problem on with that idiotic punk band, Pussy Riot.
     
    The Pussy riot case is hardly comparable to Pakistan's laws. Pussy riot pulled their stunt within a cathedral, in front of the Iconostasis, one of its holiest parts, and if I understand correctly they even interrupted a divine service with their performance. Even someone as irreligious like me can see that this was highly disrespectful and can't be allowed to go unpunished. If such activities became common, they could lead to severe disturbances (and given the offence Pussy riot were charged with - "premeditated hooliganism performed by an organized group of people motivated by religious hatred or hostility" - I'd assume something like this was at least partly the reasoning of the Russian authorities as well). Russia's laws in this respect might be compared to the colonial era laws still in force in Pakistan and India which penalize intentional, provocative mocking of other religions, but there's no comparison at all imo with Pakistan's laws threatening severe penalties for "blasphemy" against the Quran or the name of Mohammed.
    , @Mikel
    Hi Talha,

    Thanks for taking the time of replying. I thought that I had managed to p*ss you off this time.

    To be clear, what I said about Mohammed and the Coran is what I truthfully and honestly believe. I'm not even sure if he existed but if he did, there is little doubt that he was one of the countless chaps who, over the millennia, have had illusions of supernatural beings speaking to them and sending them on a mission to save humanity, etc. This is easily explained by endogenous or externally induced alterations of the mind.

    In the vast majority of cases nobody pays attention to these lunatics but, under the right circumstances, some of them will manage to gather their followers and religions or sects are born. It happens all the time. Here in Utah we have a good case in point with Joseph Smith, who in the early 19th century also experienced what you yourself must consider deranged illusions. To his credit, though, he didn't exert violence to impose his message on others. Mohammed had to resort to it because even in those superstitious times, most of his countrymen would not take him seriously.

    As you know, here in the West we had the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution. Inevitably, Christianity and religion in general have experienced a big retreat in all aspects of life. Since humans have spiritual/existential feelings, it is a very well known phenomenon that many Westerners have tried to fill the void left by traditional religion with the resort to Oriental creeds, paranormal beliefs, Gaia/Cosmos worshiping, etc. I think that you are deluding yourself by believing that there is any scope for Islam to flourish in the West. When Islam was regarded as a mostly peaceful religion a few of the people I've just mentioned would convert to it (think Cat Stevens) but now that you Muslims seem to be living some sort of bloody Counter-Reformation, you can only expect to attract people at the fringes in the West. There's never a shortage of those types and I wouldn't be surprised if conversions to Islam have increased a bit since 9/11.

    By the way, if by some cataclysmic revolution Islam were to become predominant among Westerners, I very much doubt that it would adopt a moderate form. That would mean the return to pre-Enlightenment times and, as usual with new converts, extremism would be more likely to prevail.

    you demand the right to be able to insult Him and His emissaries and then expect what in return – Paradise??!!
     
    We have discussed this before. If a god existed that wanted us to behave in a certain way, he wouldn't be playing games with messengers of dubious credibility. And, perhaps more importantly, he wouldn't have created us so imperfect and sinful in his eyes. That's silly, it doesn't make any logical sense so I cannot accept your premise. Besides, to the extent that you believe in a God that imposes the most cruel punishment on humans after having played with them in such a silly way, we are clearly not talking about a benign, merciful being at all. Unless he is almighty but somewhat dumb.

    But of course, all these paradoxes have a simple explanation through the fact that it is not an almighty god that inspired the writings of the Coran. As I said at the beginning, we're talking about a simple, deranged mind of a superstitious era luckily gone by.

    Best regards,
    Mikel
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  95. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @German_reader
    Yes, but at some point it may well become an undeniable reality, and what you're going to do then? I agree with AP that the idea "Oh, we're just going to drop nukes on those brown and black horder who want to overrun us, so no need to give up our gas-guzzling monster cars now" is pretty dumb (and immoral, if one cares about that).
    And personally I'm convinced the climate change now happening is largely man-made. The question of course is what can and should be done about it (or if something can be done about it all without destroying modern industrial civilization). I don't have an answer to that question, but it seems foolish to me if the right tries to just ignore the issue and claim it's just a conspiracy by "warmists". It makes the right look stupid, materialist-consumerist and irresponsible. Concern about the environment may be one of the few good issues the Green left still has (since everything else in their programmes - e.g. multiculturalism, Islamophilia, Transgenderism etc. - is so clearly insane and disastrous), it should be taken away from them.

    The obvious thing is to look at the root cause of climate change — overpopulation.

    The real solution to carbon is to ban the use of coal by India and China. Plus other obvious stuff.

    The population explosion in the third world is a problem. Growth of emerging economies is a problem.

    Immigration from poor to rich countries is the single most polluting human activity going on today. You don’t need science to figure out that every extra billion people strains the earth’s resources and human societies that rack up population growth in the billions are a problem.

    They gave up on global warming. Climate isn’t weather, no? Except when it helps someone’s argument. I’m not a big believer of orthodox climate science. But believe too many people are messing up the planet. The change from ‘warming’ to ‘change’ was a big step. It might be because they didn’t want to take a chance that we might have a cold spell. Or they want to be sure to be right, regardless of outcomes. Even though climate isn’t weather — it is certain that weather will change. Which is climate change, no? Or maybe the results will invert and we will end up with a pollution induced ice age. Still, it is an opportunity, not a problem.

    I suppose that the US right can’t deal with its single issue anti abortion voters and come out against the orgy of breeding in Africa. But it is unsustainable.

    The right should adopt Teddy Roosevelt conservation with a bit of updating. Sustainability. Avoiding another billion Africans is a lot more efficient than paying carbon tax. Plus, Americans aren’t big on giving up anything.

    By the way, Al Gore now believes that fracked natural gas is the ‘bridge’ fuel between coal and the next thing (to be decided, but green). So it is possible to adopt a position that is popular and fits with ideological goals.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    The real solution to carbon is to ban the use of coal by India and China.
     
    In theory, yes - but it's not really like anyone could force India and China to do this.
    Agree with you about overpopulation (and the religious cretins who think population growth in Africa etc. can't be criticized because it's all according to God's plan really need to be told to shut up).
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  96. @Talha
    Hi Mikel,

    The problem is that in Pakistan writing the first paragraph of this post would put me in very serious trouble. And that is the law that you Muslims would like to enforce everywhere.
     
    This is simply inaccurate. There is nothing in what I wrote that presumes that Islamic legal manifestation will play out in the West exactly as it has in Pakistan, or that it is desirable. I made it clear that; 1) the Islamic legal framework is quite open (and presented evidence) in adopting to localized variations on this subject and that 2) the people of the West have little chance in becoming a carbon copy of Pakistan in this respect. There are ways to prevent blasphemy from happening publicly and those are not restricted to life imprisonment or death - in fact, Russia took this problem on with that idiotic punk band, Pussy Riot.

    you would like to make discussions like the one we are having here among adults illegal
     
    No - again, I made it clear, discussions and scholarly criticisms and debates are just fine and have been:
    “One author gives a vivid description which may date from as early as 850 AD, though is probably slightly later, of a Christian metropolitan openly processing through the Karkh market in Baghdad on his way to debate with a Muslim followed by a great entourage of bishops and priests all wearing their black habits with their hoods pulled up over their heads, a striking and impressive spectacle.”
    http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/anvil/06-1_023.pdf

    Insults and invective are not tolerated.

    It’s a matter of giving up our freedom of expression and that is a big issue for many people here in the West.
     
    It is, which is why you cannot put your foot down about anything. I've seen photos of a gay pride parade - can't shut it down because people gotta express themselves. And let's not forget cross and baby christ dildos:
    http://divine-interventions.com/religioustoys.php

    Why should we tolerate this kind of nonsense? So we can virtue-signal that we are liberals? Not interested - Islam has never made a claim that it is liberal.

    the book you believe in is full of derogatory remarks against non-believers
     
    Sure - we're not perennialists. And besides, some non-believers deserve to be confronted while others should be treated with respect:
    "God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loves those who are just." (60:8)

    The wisdom is in knowing when to do what.

    Worse still, we are constantly threatened with very cruel retribution in this life and the next.
     
    No - the threat is only for the next life unless you go to war with the Muslims - then you better believe you will be threatened in this life.

    I recently watched a short documentary about some Greeks returning to paganism - fascinating. Now if they told me that if I don't believe in the deities of Mt. Olympus, that Zeus would punish me in Hades after I die, I wouldn't think anything of it - wouldn't lose a wink of sleep. Because it has no ontological reality to me. Why are atheists so concerned about a false transcendental God that punishes their non-existent souls in a non-existent hell during a false after-life? It's just a myth anyway - get over it.

    But you never answered my previous question:
    But if there is a metaphysical reality and It has a will and has willed humans into being and It provided for humans from their cradle to their grave and all the joys of life that come with existence and It expects humans to behave in a certain way in order to show gratitude and It has communicated that. Then you can’t really expect to be treated the same while being a slave in rebellion to a slave in submission – can you?

    Read the first paragraph that you wrote; you demand the right to be able to insult Him and His emissaries and then expect what in return - Paradise??!! Are you serious? Why does He need you - He has billions of people who believe in Him, beg from Him and revolve their entire lives around Him. Why should He treat you the same as them? Why are you the special snowflake?

    How did the West manage to take the Lord-of-all-that-exists and turn him into the Chump-of-tha-feelz that caters to "muh blasphemy"?

    Hardly a narrative conducive to a fair treatment of people of all beliefs.
     
    Having respect for other faiths and guaranteeing them protection does not entail having to grant them equal rights. If nations in the West decided that Islam could no longer be preached to non-Muslims - or decided to enforce rules that non-Muslim women cannot marry Muslim men (like we do in reverse for our women). Well, that would certainly not be treating it equally with other faiths, but I would hardly categorize that as oppression. Taking away a privilege is not oppression. Now if they decided to steal our children, rape our women or destroy mosques - now that would be oppressive.

    Peace.

    There are ways to prevent blasphemy from happening publicly and those are not restricted to life imprisonment or death – in fact, Russia took this problem on with that idiotic punk band, Pussy Riot.

    The Pussy riot case is hardly comparable to Pakistan’s laws. Pussy riot pulled their stunt within a cathedral, in front of the Iconostasis, one of its holiest parts, and if I understand correctly they even interrupted a divine service with their performance. Even someone as irreligious like me can see that this was highly disrespectful and can’t be allowed to go unpunished. If such activities became common, they could lead to severe disturbances (and given the offence Pussy riot were charged with – “premeditated hooliganism performed by an organized group of people motivated by religious hatred or hostility” – I’d assume something like this was at least partly the reasoning of the Russian authorities as well). Russia’s laws in this respect might be compared to the colonial era laws still in force in Pakistan and India which penalize intentional, provocative mocking of other religions, but there’s no comparison at all imo with Pakistan’s laws threatening severe penalties for “blasphemy” against the Quran or the name of Mohammed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    but there’s no comparison at all imo with Pakistan’s laws threatening severe penalties for “blasphemy” against the Quran or the name of Mohammed
     
    Correct - which is why implementation of anti-blasphemy laws in the West by Muslims who are ethnic Westerners will also not parallel the laws of Pakistan.

    Now if the charge is that a Muslim land does not treat all religions on the same par as Islam - we are completely guilty of this charge. In a Muslim land, the official religion of the land is Islam and thus receives top billing. Again, that does not mean Muslim lands cannot deal with other religions with respect and grant them protection - but that simply does not mean treating them equally; we are not in the market to beg people for a "liberal" label.

    For example, the Kingdom of Morocco subsidized the restoration of a historic synagogue:
    "King Mohammed VI of Morocco attended the rededication of the Ettedgui Synagogue in Casablanca. The synagogue and the adjacent El Mellah Museum, which retraces Jewish history in Morocco, were reopened Friday. They were restored as part of the second phase of a government program aimed at rehabilitating Casablanca’s old city. A government grant of about $844,000 funded the restorations, according to the Maghreb Arab Presse, the Moroccan state news agency."
    http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Moroccos-king-attends-Casablanca-synagogue-Jewish-museum-ceremony-476053

    However, it is illegal in Morocco to preach to Muslims in order to entice conversions. Is that not equal - since Muslims are allowed to preach to others? Yes, of course it isn't equal. Is it oppressive? Hardly.

    Peace.
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  97. @anon
    The obvious thing is to look at the root cause of climate change -- overpopulation.

    The real solution to carbon is to ban the use of coal by India and China. Plus other obvious stuff.

    The population explosion in the third world is a problem. Growth of emerging economies is a problem.

    Immigration from poor to rich countries is the single most polluting human activity going on today. You don't need science to figure out that every extra billion people strains the earth's resources and human societies that rack up population growth in the billions are a problem.

    They gave up on global warming. Climate isn't weather, no? Except when it helps someone's argument. I'm not a big believer of orthodox climate science. But believe too many people are messing up the planet. The change from 'warming' to 'change' was a big step. It might be because they didn't want to take a chance that we might have a cold spell. Or they want to be sure to be right, regardless of outcomes. Even though climate isn't weather -- it is certain that weather will change. Which is climate change, no? Or maybe the results will invert and we will end up with a pollution induced ice age. Still, it is an opportunity, not a problem.

    I suppose that the US right can't deal with its single issue anti abortion voters and come out against the orgy of breeding in Africa. But it is unsustainable.

    The right should adopt Teddy Roosevelt conservation with a bit of updating. Sustainability. Avoiding another billion Africans is a lot more efficient than paying carbon tax. Plus, Americans aren't big on giving up anything.

    By the way, Al Gore now believes that fracked natural gas is the 'bridge' fuel between coal and the next thing (to be decided, but green). So it is possible to adopt a position that is popular and fits with ideological goals.

    The real solution to carbon is to ban the use of coal by India and China.

    In theory, yes – but it’s not really like anyone could force India and China to do this.
    Agree with you about overpopulation (and the religious cretins who think population growth in Africa etc. can’t be criticized because it’s all according to God’s plan really need to be told to shut up).

    Read More
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  98. Talha says:
    @German_reader

    There are ways to prevent blasphemy from happening publicly and those are not restricted to life imprisonment or death – in fact, Russia took this problem on with that idiotic punk band, Pussy Riot.
     
    The Pussy riot case is hardly comparable to Pakistan's laws. Pussy riot pulled their stunt within a cathedral, in front of the Iconostasis, one of its holiest parts, and if I understand correctly they even interrupted a divine service with their performance. Even someone as irreligious like me can see that this was highly disrespectful and can't be allowed to go unpunished. If such activities became common, they could lead to severe disturbances (and given the offence Pussy riot were charged with - "premeditated hooliganism performed by an organized group of people motivated by religious hatred or hostility" - I'd assume something like this was at least partly the reasoning of the Russian authorities as well). Russia's laws in this respect might be compared to the colonial era laws still in force in Pakistan and India which penalize intentional, provocative mocking of other religions, but there's no comparison at all imo with Pakistan's laws threatening severe penalties for "blasphemy" against the Quran or the name of Mohammed.

    but there’s no comparison at all imo with Pakistan’s laws threatening severe penalties for “blasphemy” against the Quran or the name of Mohammed

    Correct – which is why implementation of anti-blasphemy laws in the West by Muslims who are ethnic Westerners will also not parallel the laws of Pakistan.

    Now if the charge is that a Muslim land does not treat all religions on the same par as Islam – we are completely guilty of this charge. In a Muslim land, the official religion of the land is Islam and thus receives top billing. Again, that does not mean Muslim lands cannot deal with other religions with respect and grant them protection – but that simply does not mean treating them equally; we are not in the market to beg people for a “liberal” label.

    For example, the Kingdom of Morocco subsidized the restoration of a historic synagogue:
    “King Mohammed VI of Morocco attended the rededication of the Ettedgui Synagogue in Casablanca. The synagogue and the adjacent El Mellah Museum, which retraces Jewish history in Morocco, were reopened Friday. They were restored as part of the second phase of a government program aimed at rehabilitating Casablanca’s old city. A government grant of about $844,000 funded the restorations, according to the Maghreb Arab Presse, the Moroccan state news agency.”

    http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Moroccos-king-attends-Casablanca-synagogue-Jewish-museum-ceremony-476053

    However, it is illegal in Morocco to preach to Muslims in order to entice conversions. Is that not equal – since Muslims are allowed to preach to others? Yes, of course it isn’t equal. Is it oppressive? Hardly.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    The logical consequence of the legal discrimination in Islamic countries which you seem to endorse is that similarly severe restrictions should be placed on Islamic communities in majority non-Islamic countries. If there's no reciprocity, tolerance is a foolish policy. People who'd abolish liberty for anybody else but their own community if they got the chance probably shouldn't be granted the liberty to promote their faith.
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  99. @Talha

    but there’s no comparison at all imo with Pakistan’s laws threatening severe penalties for “blasphemy” against the Quran or the name of Mohammed
     
    Correct - which is why implementation of anti-blasphemy laws in the West by Muslims who are ethnic Westerners will also not parallel the laws of Pakistan.

    Now if the charge is that a Muslim land does not treat all religions on the same par as Islam - we are completely guilty of this charge. In a Muslim land, the official religion of the land is Islam and thus receives top billing. Again, that does not mean Muslim lands cannot deal with other religions with respect and grant them protection - but that simply does not mean treating them equally; we are not in the market to beg people for a "liberal" label.

    For example, the Kingdom of Morocco subsidized the restoration of a historic synagogue:
    "King Mohammed VI of Morocco attended the rededication of the Ettedgui Synagogue in Casablanca. The synagogue and the adjacent El Mellah Museum, which retraces Jewish history in Morocco, were reopened Friday. They were restored as part of the second phase of a government program aimed at rehabilitating Casablanca’s old city. A government grant of about $844,000 funded the restorations, according to the Maghreb Arab Presse, the Moroccan state news agency."
    http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Moroccos-king-attends-Casablanca-synagogue-Jewish-museum-ceremony-476053

    However, it is illegal in Morocco to preach to Muslims in order to entice conversions. Is that not equal - since Muslims are allowed to preach to others? Yes, of course it isn't equal. Is it oppressive? Hardly.

    Peace.

    The logical consequence of the legal discrimination in Islamic countries which you seem to endorse is that similarly severe restrictions should be placed on Islamic communities in majority non-Islamic countries. If there’s no reciprocity, tolerance is a foolish policy. People who’d abolish liberty for anybody else but their own community if they got the chance probably shouldn’t be granted the liberty to promote their faith.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    The logical consequence of the legal discrimination in Islamic countries which you seem to endorse is that similarly severe restrictions should be placed on Islamic communities in majority non-Islamic countries.
     
    Not at all. By no means is that what the logical consequence should conclude. Is reciprocity even the goal? Look, the entire framework in the West is completely different - it is secular liberalism. This was chosen without any regard to Muslims at all. Now if you start putting restrictions against Muslims in the same manner that Muslims put restrictions* on other religious communities, it would certainly be hypocritical for us to claim what you are doing is morally wrong. One thing we could claim is false advertising; would people like my father and others, who came to settle in the West legally, have even gone through the trouble if they were told clearly at the outset that certain restrictions were in place against their religion specifically? However, it would be hypocritical for the West to still claim to be secular and liberal with respect to all faiths - only with faiths that are already in conformity - aka "down with the program".

    And thus we stand at the threshold of Popper's Paradox:
    "In other words, the paradox of tolerance states that being tolerant must refute the intolerance of the other towards the tolerant self."
    http://paradoxoftheday.com/the-paradox-of-tolerance/

    Actually we can see the extreme example of this with Antifa.

    Thus, if you implement these restrictions, well you can't really claim a principled stance. All it means is that tolerance is great while there is no threat, if there is a threat to the socio-political order then the solution is some level of intolerance to the threat. I think the Islamic view is quite wise and open in eliminating the paradox altogether by simply not putting itself in a moral quandary or painting itself into a corner - potential rival faith systems are given space to exist but are not given space to be propagated among the people who hold the Islamic world view - the same world view that established and is necessary to ensure the survival and maintenance of the prevailing public order.

    People who’d abolish liberty for anybody else but their own community if they got the chance probably shouldn’t be granted the liberty to promote their faith.
     
    Again - Popper's paradox. But would you apply this in a principled and universal way? I mean Nazism, White Nationalism and other ideologies may not be religions, but they certainly would restrict the liberties of others if they came into power. Should their voices not be tolerated - or are you only really concerned about Islam because it's the only one to take seriously? Or because White Nationalism doesn't really affect you since you would be part of the "in" group? Again - either of those two is not a very principled position to take.

    Peace.

    *I will be quite impressed if you got Western women to go along with the notion that they legally can't marry Muslim men - quite impressed indeed.
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  100. TheJester says:

    Carrol Quigley, in his seminal book, “Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time,” discusses why the Western European model of industrialization and urbanization worked for Western countries …. but for no other culture since.

    According to Quigley, a successful industrial/urban revolution presupposes an earlier agricultural revolution to feed the burgeoning urban masses. However, the Western industrial revolution was the only one that did.

    By jumping the time line, the others immediately ran into and will continue to run into food security issues, requiring the urban centers to loot the countryside of its crops and livestock to ward off starvation. Does the Ukranian Holodomor ring a bell? Quigley points to similar outcomes in places as remote as Argentina.

    So, what caused the population explosions in the Third World in the first place? Western science and medicine.

    So, what will drive the exploding masses from Pakistan and sub-Saharan Africa to the Western industrial nations? Starvation!

    Food security issues are basically resolved in Western industrial countries. Indeed, Western industrial societies are in the midst of a second agricultural revolution. In the Netherlands, for example, land area no longer limits agricultural production. The National Geographic (September 2017, edition) has a feature article on factory farms in the country.

    “The tiny Netherlands has become an agricultural powerhouse — the second largest global exporter of good by dollar value after the United States — with only a fraction of the land available … by using the world’s most efficient agricultural technologies.”

    In the Netherlands, food and livestock are produced in multistory factories rather than traditional farms. Crops are grown around the clock in climate controlled environments. In some cases, hydroponics replaces soil. As a measure of productivity, each indoor acre yields as much lettuce as ten outdoor acres. As a measure of yields per square mile, the Netherlands has the world’s highest productivity for chilies, green peppers, and cucumbers. It is No. 2 for pears, N0. 5 for carrots, and No. 6 for potatoes and onions … using a fraction of the water and chemicals required by traditional methods.

    It is incumbent on countries trying to industrialize or otherwise experiencing a demographic explosion to learn how to feed their burgeoning populations. This is the first order of business. It only exacerbates the problems of excess populations in low tech countries by (1) the West feeding and otherwise subsidizing the excess populations via foreign aid, or (2) trying to take in millions of people from pre-industrial societies as permanent welfare classes, who will, by the way, continue to reproduce beyond their Malthusian Limits until they destroy their Western hosts.

    The West subsidizing premature urbanization in pre-industrial countries is a major cause of their demographic explosions. Unless these subsidies are addressed, they will also precipitate the suicide of Western countries and their industrial civilization.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Great post - thanks for all the details!

    Peace.
    , @Bliss

    The tiny Netherlands has become an agricultural powerhouse — the second largest global exporter of good by dollar value after the United States — with only a fraction of the land available … by using the world’s most efficient agricultural technologies.
     
    What a great role model for all nations that are not self-sufficient in food.

    Here’s more feel good news:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40935771


    Nigerian Oshi Agabi has unveiled a computer based not on silicon but on mice neurons at the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania.

    Eventually the modem-sized device - dubbed Koniku Kore - could provide the brain for future robots.
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  101. I support her giving those Muslim-majority states independence at any time she wants in order to become more purely Hindu.

    This only works if there is a mass migration of Muslims out of India.

    Read More
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  102. I’m very interested in the long-term effects of China’s investment splurge in Pakistan. The Pakistani government’s has a lot of hope in it. Here’s an in-depth article: https://www.dawn.com/news/1333101/exclusive-cpec-master-plan-revealed.

    Interestingly it has a very large agricultural component.

    Read More
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  103. Talha says:
    @German_reader
    The logical consequence of the legal discrimination in Islamic countries which you seem to endorse is that similarly severe restrictions should be placed on Islamic communities in majority non-Islamic countries. If there's no reciprocity, tolerance is a foolish policy. People who'd abolish liberty for anybody else but their own community if they got the chance probably shouldn't be granted the liberty to promote their faith.

    Hey G_R,

    The logical consequence of the legal discrimination in Islamic countries which you seem to endorse is that similarly severe restrictions should be placed on Islamic communities in majority non-Islamic countries.

    Not at all. By no means is that what the logical consequence should conclude. Is reciprocity even the goal? Look, the entire framework in the West is completely different – it is secular liberalism. This was chosen without any regard to Muslims at all. Now if you start putting restrictions against Muslims in the same manner that Muslims put restrictions* on other religious communities, it would certainly be hypocritical for us to claim what you are doing is morally wrong. One thing we could claim is false advertising; would people like my father and others, who came to settle in the West legally, have even gone through the trouble if they were told clearly at the outset that certain restrictions were in place against their religion specifically? However, it would be hypocritical for the West to still claim to be secular and liberal with respect to all faiths – only with faiths that are already in conformity – aka “down with the program”.

    And thus we stand at the threshold of Popper’s Paradox:
    “In other words, the paradox of tolerance states that being tolerant must refute the intolerance of the other towards the tolerant self.”

    http://paradoxoftheday.com/the-paradox-of-tolerance/

    Actually we can see the extreme example of this with Antifa.

    Thus, if you implement these restrictions, well you can’t really claim a principled stance. All it means is that tolerance is great while there is no threat, if there is a threat to the socio-political order then the solution is some level of intolerance to the threat. I think the Islamic view is quite wise and open in eliminating the paradox altogether by simply not putting itself in a moral quandary or painting itself into a corner – potential rival faith systems are given space to exist but are not given space to be propagated among the people who hold the Islamic world view – the same world view that established and is necessary to ensure the survival and maintenance of the prevailing public order.

    People who’d abolish liberty for anybody else but their own community if they got the chance probably shouldn’t be granted the liberty to promote their faith.

    Again – Popper’s paradox. But would you apply this in a principled and universal way? I mean Nazism, White Nationalism and other ideologies may not be religions, but they certainly would restrict the liberties of others if they came into power. Should their voices not be tolerated – or are you only really concerned about Islam because it’s the only one to take seriously? Or because White Nationalism doesn’t really affect you since you would be part of the “in” group? Again – either of those two is not a very principled position to take.

    Peace.

    *I will be quite impressed if you got Western women to go along with the notion that they legally can’t marry Muslim men – quite impressed indeed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    I mean Nazism, White Nationalism and other ideologies may not be religions, but they certainly would restrict the liberties of others if they came into power. Should their voices not be tolerated – or are you only really concerned about Islam because it’s the only one to take seriously?
     
    Real Nazis are a total fringe movement today, but yes, if there were millions of them in today's West steadily increasing their influence I'd be in favour of repression against them. Given the historical track record of Nazism anything else would be foolish.
    "White nationalism" can mean many different things, from people who dream of eliminating all non-whites (maybe even globally) to people who want to stop immigration and ensure whites remain a majority in Europe and North America. Obviously I sympathize a lot with the latter view. It may well be though that some forms of White nationalism would need to be restricted in their activity under different circumstances.

    I will be quite impressed if you got Western women to go along with the notion that they legally can’t marry Muslim men – quite impressed indeed.
     
    You're seeing things too much through your own personal experience. Most Western women aren't interested in Muslim men at all, in fact often find them rather repellent with their patriarchical views. There's no need for any legislation, and in any case I'm not in favour of laws restrichting people's marriage choices like that. Only weak and insecure cultures would need to control "their" women like this.
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  104. Talha says:
    @TheJester
    Carrol Quigley, in his seminal book, "Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time," discusses why the Western European model of industrialization and urbanization worked for Western countries .... but for no other culture since.

    According to Quigley, a successful industrial/urban revolution presupposes an earlier agricultural revolution to feed the burgeoning urban masses. However, the Western industrial revolution was the only one that did.

    By jumping the time line, the others immediately ran into and will continue to run into food security issues, requiring the urban centers to loot the countryside of its crops and livestock to ward off starvation. Does the Ukranian Holodomor ring a bell? Quigley points to similar outcomes in places as remote as Argentina.

    So, what caused the population explosions in the Third World in the first place? Western science and medicine.

    So, what will drive the exploding masses from Pakistan and sub-Saharan Africa to the Western industrial nations? Starvation!

    Food security issues are basically resolved in Western industrial countries. Indeed, Western industrial societies are in the midst of a second agricultural revolution. In the Netherlands, for example, land area no longer limits agricultural production. The National Geographic (September 2017, edition) has a feature article on factory farms in the country.

    "The tiny Netherlands has become an agricultural powerhouse -- the second largest global exporter of good by dollar value after the United States -- with only a fraction of the land available ... by using the world's most efficient agricultural technologies."
     
    In the Netherlands, food and livestock are produced in multistory factories rather than traditional farms. Crops are grown around the clock in climate controlled environments. In some cases, hydroponics replaces soil. As a measure of productivity, each indoor acre yields as much lettuce as ten outdoor acres. As a measure of yields per square mile, the Netherlands has the world's highest productivity for chilies, green peppers, and cucumbers. It is No. 2 for pears, N0. 5 for carrots, and No. 6 for potatoes and onions ... using a fraction of the water and chemicals required by traditional methods.

    It is incumbent on countries trying to industrialize or otherwise experiencing a demographic explosion to learn how to feed their burgeoning populations. This is the first order of business. It only exacerbates the problems of excess populations in low tech countries by (1) the West feeding and otherwise subsidizing the excess populations via foreign aid, or (2) trying to take in millions of people from pre-industrial societies as permanent welfare classes, who will, by the way, continue to reproduce beyond their Malthusian Limits until they destroy their Western hosts.

    The West subsidizing premature urbanization in pre-industrial countries is a major cause of their demographic explosions. Unless these subsidies are addressed, they will also precipitate the suicide of Western countries and their industrial civilization.

    Great post – thanks for all the details!

    Peace.

    Read More
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  105. @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    The logical consequence of the legal discrimination in Islamic countries which you seem to endorse is that similarly severe restrictions should be placed on Islamic communities in majority non-Islamic countries.
     
    Not at all. By no means is that what the logical consequence should conclude. Is reciprocity even the goal? Look, the entire framework in the West is completely different - it is secular liberalism. This was chosen without any regard to Muslims at all. Now if you start putting restrictions against Muslims in the same manner that Muslims put restrictions* on other religious communities, it would certainly be hypocritical for us to claim what you are doing is morally wrong. One thing we could claim is false advertising; would people like my father and others, who came to settle in the West legally, have even gone through the trouble if they were told clearly at the outset that certain restrictions were in place against their religion specifically? However, it would be hypocritical for the West to still claim to be secular and liberal with respect to all faiths - only with faiths that are already in conformity - aka "down with the program".

    And thus we stand at the threshold of Popper's Paradox:
    "In other words, the paradox of tolerance states that being tolerant must refute the intolerance of the other towards the tolerant self."
    http://paradoxoftheday.com/the-paradox-of-tolerance/

    Actually we can see the extreme example of this with Antifa.

    Thus, if you implement these restrictions, well you can't really claim a principled stance. All it means is that tolerance is great while there is no threat, if there is a threat to the socio-political order then the solution is some level of intolerance to the threat. I think the Islamic view is quite wise and open in eliminating the paradox altogether by simply not putting itself in a moral quandary or painting itself into a corner - potential rival faith systems are given space to exist but are not given space to be propagated among the people who hold the Islamic world view - the same world view that established and is necessary to ensure the survival and maintenance of the prevailing public order.

    People who’d abolish liberty for anybody else but their own community if they got the chance probably shouldn’t be granted the liberty to promote their faith.
     
    Again - Popper's paradox. But would you apply this in a principled and universal way? I mean Nazism, White Nationalism and other ideologies may not be religions, but they certainly would restrict the liberties of others if they came into power. Should their voices not be tolerated - or are you only really concerned about Islam because it's the only one to take seriously? Or because White Nationalism doesn't really affect you since you would be part of the "in" group? Again - either of those two is not a very principled position to take.

    Peace.

    *I will be quite impressed if you got Western women to go along with the notion that they legally can't marry Muslim men - quite impressed indeed.

    I mean Nazism, White Nationalism and other ideologies may not be religions, but they certainly would restrict the liberties of others if they came into power. Should their voices not be tolerated – or are you only really concerned about Islam because it’s the only one to take seriously?

    Real Nazis are a total fringe movement today, but yes, if there were millions of them in today’s West steadily increasing their influence I’d be in favour of repression against them. Given the historical track record of Nazism anything else would be foolish.
    “White nationalism” can mean many different things, from people who dream of eliminating all non-whites (maybe even globally) to people who want to stop immigration and ensure whites remain a majority in Europe and North America. Obviously I sympathize a lot with the latter view. It may well be though that some forms of White nationalism would need to be restricted in their activity under different circumstances.

    I will be quite impressed if you got Western women to go along with the notion that they legally can’t marry Muslim men – quite impressed indeed.

    You’re seeing things too much through your own personal experience. Most Western women aren’t interested in Muslim men at all, in fact often find them rather repellent with their patriarchical views. There’s no need for any legislation, and in any case I’m not in favour of laws restrichting people’s marriage choices like that. Only weak and insecure cultures would need to control “their” women like this.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hector_St_Clare
    It's also the case that restricting people's freedom about whom to marry or reproduce with is only really an issue if society is highly diverse already. In a mostly ethnically homogeneous society people mostly marry within their own ethnicity because those are the people they tend to encounter.
    , @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    So we agree in principle; it is not immoral to pen up a tiger, we are simply disagreeing on when it is proper to do so - when it is still cute and cuddly or when it can kill and eat a bison.

    Most Western women aren’t interested in Muslim men at all
     
    Sure, I'll agree with this.

    in fact often find them rather repellent with their patriarchical views
     
    Prof. Jordan Petersen has a different take:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED8r5jGijV0

    Peace.
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  106. @Talha
    Hey Erik,

    from which they have purged any Non-Muslims
     
    This is not correct. Pakistan has a minority of Christians and Hindus, Sikhs (and even Kalasha) who have reserved seats in parliament. In fact, just recently, they were granted a 50% increase in reserved seats due to their increase in population.

    Bangladesh has a more substantial Hindu minority around 10% compared to India's 14% Muslim minority.

    while India still has a substantial Muslim minority
     
    I support her giving those Muslim-majority states independence at any time she wants in order to become more purely Hindu.

    Peace.

    There are only two significant Muslim majority areas in India, Kashmir and the northern part of Kerala. (FTR I agree with you that India is too big a country and should be broken up: both Kashmir and Kerala would be better off on their own).

    I also appreciate your honest and straightforward defense of your faith on a comment board where most commenters (myself included) are, well, quite hostile to what you believe. I’m quite a bit comforted by what you say about the limits of Islamic blasphemy laws. If I understand you correctly, saying something like “Monotheism is wrong” or “God became incarnate as a Man” or “Muhammed was deluded by the devil” are protected as legitimate expressions of religious viewpoints, but e.g. portraying Muhammed as a pig are not? Since you say “a certain degree of blasphemy is taken for granted” in order to allow minority religions to express their opinions?

    Also, what do you think of blasphemy laws in countries where Muslims are a small minority? I think you suggest below that this will only become an issue when Muslims become a majority, but that’s not correct: in many countries today a large chunk of the native population can be counted on to take the Muslim side. Denmark for example overturned its blasphemy law earlier this year, and I suspect it was largely a proxy for what you think about Islam. The Social Democrats, believe it or not, defended the blasphemy law and th conservatives opposed it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    The Social Democrats, believe it or not, defended the blasphemy law and th conservatives opposed it.
     
    Not surprising at all, the left in Europe has dropped any commitment to secularism, and Socialist parties are more and more becoming vehicles for Muslim lobbyism.
    Personally I expect and hope that this will backfire badly on the left.
    , @Talha
    Hey Hector,

    I also appreciate your honest and straightforward defense of your faith on a comment board where most commenters (myself included) are, well, quite hostile to what you believe.
     
    No problem - I don't get triggered by being challenged. And as another Muslim brother (who is observing the thread mentioned), G_R is being pretty fair and civil about how he is conversing so I welcome that. I'm trying to present some points of view and considerations people may not have thought about before. We can disagree, it's all good.

    If I understand you correctly, saying something like “Monotheism is wrong” or “God became incarnate as a Man” or “Muhammed was deluded by the devil” are protected as legitimate expressions of religious viewpoints, but e.g. portraying Muhammed as a pig are not?
     
    Exactly, this is what I am getting at and I have presented documented rulings from as far back as 9th century through the the current era to show there is definitely a degree of allowance.

    Also, what do you think of blasphemy laws in countries where Muslims are a small minority?
     
    Why not if the majority go along with it? Heck, we would be happy if the West met us half way and left the Prophet (pbuh) open to ridicule but prohibited it for the Son of Mary, Moses, Abraham, etc. (pbut). We're sick of seeing their names denigrated also.

    There is a metaphysical aspect to this also; if God has deemed it time that the insult of men like the Son of Mary (pbuh) desist in the West (as in previous centuries) and non-Muslims will not make it happen, He can simply bring about a people that will make sure it does.

    A God that isn’t perfectly merciful is in my opinion not a perfect Being, and not one worthy of worship.
     
    Interesting - so there is a complete negation of the attribute of Divine Justice? Do you mean to say that if I don't believe in a Trinitarian God or that Jesus (pbuh) died for my sins (or Mikel here openly mocks and insults Him) - there are zero negative consequences in the afterlife? If so, that works out great and I have both bases covered.

    Now if that is not the case...well, we are back to a God that will punish the iniquitous according to His parameters - just different ones in your understanding.

    I remember you mentioning your were heterodox; how widely accepted is your view among normative Christian doctrine? You understand or course, if a Dawoodi Bohra tried to claim he spoke for Islam, you'd have your doubts.

    Peace.
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  107. @German_reader

    I mean Nazism, White Nationalism and other ideologies may not be religions, but they certainly would restrict the liberties of others if they came into power. Should their voices not be tolerated – or are you only really concerned about Islam because it’s the only one to take seriously?
     
    Real Nazis are a total fringe movement today, but yes, if there were millions of them in today's West steadily increasing their influence I'd be in favour of repression against them. Given the historical track record of Nazism anything else would be foolish.
    "White nationalism" can mean many different things, from people who dream of eliminating all non-whites (maybe even globally) to people who want to stop immigration and ensure whites remain a majority in Europe and North America. Obviously I sympathize a lot with the latter view. It may well be though that some forms of White nationalism would need to be restricted in their activity under different circumstances.

    I will be quite impressed if you got Western women to go along with the notion that they legally can’t marry Muslim men – quite impressed indeed.
     
    You're seeing things too much through your own personal experience. Most Western women aren't interested in Muslim men at all, in fact often find them rather repellent with their patriarchical views. There's no need for any legislation, and in any case I'm not in favour of laws restrichting people's marriage choices like that. Only weak and insecure cultures would need to control "their" women like this.

    It’s also the case that restricting people’s freedom about whom to marry or reproduce with is only really an issue if society is highly diverse already. In a mostly ethnically homogeneous society people mostly marry within their own ethnicity because those are the people they tend to encounter.

    Read More
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  108. @Hector_St_Clare
    There are only two significant Muslim majority areas in India, Kashmir and the northern part of Kerala. (FTR I agree with you that India is too big a country and should be broken up: both Kashmir and Kerala would be better off on their own).

    I also appreciate your honest and straightforward defense of your faith on a comment board where most commenters (myself included) are, well, quite hostile to what you believe. I'm quite a bit comforted by what you say about the limits of Islamic blasphemy laws. If I understand you correctly, saying something like "Monotheism is wrong" or "God became incarnate as a Man" or "Muhammed was deluded by the devil" are protected as legitimate expressions of religious viewpoints, but e.g. portraying Muhammed as a pig are not? Since you say "a certain degree of blasphemy is taken for granted" in order to allow minority religions to express their opinions?

    Also, what do you think of blasphemy laws in countries where Muslims are a small minority? I think you suggest below that this will only become an issue when Muslims become a majority, but that's not correct: in many countries today a large chunk of the native population can be counted on to take the Muslim side. Denmark for example overturned its blasphemy law earlier this year, and I suspect it was largely a proxy for what you think about Islam. The Social Democrats, believe it or not, defended the blasphemy law and th conservatives opposed it.

    The Social Democrats, believe it or not, defended the blasphemy law and th conservatives opposed it.

    Not surprising at all, the left in Europe has dropped any commitment to secularism, and Socialist parties are more and more becoming vehicles for Muslim lobbyism.
    Personally I expect and hope that this will backfire badly on the left.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hector_St_Clare
    Actually that's not entirely true of Denmark. The Social Democrats there are generally pretty good on immigration: they were pro-immigration in the 1990s but have recently reversed their policy, in order to compete for the working class vote with the Danish People's Party. They've expressed openness to coalition with the DF and agreed to the DF's demand to maintain tough immigration laws. Their former leader, Helle Thorning-Schmidt said "Denmark is not a multi-ethnic society" on a TV show, which caused a lot of the Greens and other coalition allies of the Social Democrats to get all outraged.


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/denmark/11680974/Denmarks-election-campaign-has-been-a-race-to-the-bottom-on-immigration.html

    The defense of the blasphemy law was stupid, but *in general* they're pretty good on immigration related issues. And it needs to be said, "should we welcome more Muslim immigration into Denmark" is a separate queston from "how should we cater to sensibilities of the ones who are here". I'm much more concerned with limiting further immigration and "diversification" of European countries than I am whether people are free to insult Muhammed or not. I'm more concerned about Europe remaining, well, European than I am about Europe remaining free.
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  109. @German_reader

    The Social Democrats, believe it or not, defended the blasphemy law and th conservatives opposed it.
     
    Not surprising at all, the left in Europe has dropped any commitment to secularism, and Socialist parties are more and more becoming vehicles for Muslim lobbyism.
    Personally I expect and hope that this will backfire badly on the left.

    Actually that’s not entirely true of Denmark. The Social Democrats there are generally pretty good on immigration: they were pro-immigration in the 1990s but have recently reversed their policy, in order to compete for the working class vote with the Danish People’s Party. They’ve expressed openness to coalition with the DF and agreed to the DF’s demand to maintain tough immigration laws. Their former leader, Helle Thorning-Schmidt said “Denmark is not a multi-ethnic society” on a TV show, which caused a lot of the Greens and other coalition allies of the Social Democrats to get all outraged.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/denmark/11680974/Denmarks-election-campaign-has-been-a-race-to-the-bottom-on-immigration.html

    The defense of the blasphemy law was stupid, but *in general* they’re pretty good on immigration related issues. And it needs to be said, “should we welcome more Muslim immigration into Denmark” is a separate queston from “how should we cater to sensibilities of the ones who are here”. I’m much more concerned with limiting further immigration and “diversification” of European countries than I am whether people are free to insult Muhammed or not. I’m more concerned about Europe remaining, well, European than I am about Europe remaining free.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Interesting, I hadn't known that about Denmark. The situation with the Social Democrats in Germany or the Labour party in Britain is very different though.

    I’m more concerned about Europe remaining, well, European than I am about Europe remaining free.
     
    I don't agree with that. This catering to the sensibilities of ever-offended Muslims needs to end; if Islam and its tenets are declared to be exempt from criticism, there is no chance the Muslims already in Europe will ever to any meaningful degree assimilate or reform their religion so that it is more compatible with modern Western societies. The excessive tolerance (or maybe just ignorance) practiced in Western Europe during the last few decades has empowered and emboldened the most reactionary parts of Islamic communities; there must be no further accomodation.
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  110. Parbes says:

    “I’m much more concerned with limiting further immigration and “diversification” of European countries than I am whether people are free to insult Muhammed or not. I’m more concerned about Europe remaining, well, European than I am about Europe remaining free.”

    If the Muslims in Europe (who should not be there in the first place) already are so numerous or exert such an influence that you are willing to throw away your own freedoms JUST to appease or “avoid offending” them, then you are already NOT “remaining European” in a real sense.

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    • Agree: German_reader
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  111. Mikel says:
    @Talha
    Hi Mikel,

    The problem is that in Pakistan writing the first paragraph of this post would put me in very serious trouble. And that is the law that you Muslims would like to enforce everywhere.
     
    This is simply inaccurate. There is nothing in what I wrote that presumes that Islamic legal manifestation will play out in the West exactly as it has in Pakistan, or that it is desirable. I made it clear that; 1) the Islamic legal framework is quite open (and presented evidence) in adopting to localized variations on this subject and that 2) the people of the West have little chance in becoming a carbon copy of Pakistan in this respect. There are ways to prevent blasphemy from happening publicly and those are not restricted to life imprisonment or death - in fact, Russia took this problem on with that idiotic punk band, Pussy Riot.

    you would like to make discussions like the one we are having here among adults illegal
     
    No - again, I made it clear, discussions and scholarly criticisms and debates are just fine and have been:
    “One author gives a vivid description which may date from as early as 850 AD, though is probably slightly later, of a Christian metropolitan openly processing through the Karkh market in Baghdad on his way to debate with a Muslim followed by a great entourage of bishops and priests all wearing their black habits with their hoods pulled up over their heads, a striking and impressive spectacle.”
    http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/anvil/06-1_023.pdf

    Insults and invective are not tolerated.

    It’s a matter of giving up our freedom of expression and that is a big issue for many people here in the West.
     
    It is, which is why you cannot put your foot down about anything. I've seen photos of a gay pride parade - can't shut it down because people gotta express themselves. And let's not forget cross and baby christ dildos:
    http://divine-interventions.com/religioustoys.php

    Why should we tolerate this kind of nonsense? So we can virtue-signal that we are liberals? Not interested - Islam has never made a claim that it is liberal.

    the book you believe in is full of derogatory remarks against non-believers
     
    Sure - we're not perennialists. And besides, some non-believers deserve to be confronted while others should be treated with respect:
    "God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loves those who are just." (60:8)

    The wisdom is in knowing when to do what.

    Worse still, we are constantly threatened with very cruel retribution in this life and the next.
     
    No - the threat is only for the next life unless you go to war with the Muslims - then you better believe you will be threatened in this life.

    I recently watched a short documentary about some Greeks returning to paganism - fascinating. Now if they told me that if I don't believe in the deities of Mt. Olympus, that Zeus would punish me in Hades after I die, I wouldn't think anything of it - wouldn't lose a wink of sleep. Because it has no ontological reality to me. Why are atheists so concerned about a false transcendental God that punishes their non-existent souls in a non-existent hell during a false after-life? It's just a myth anyway - get over it.

    But you never answered my previous question:
    But if there is a metaphysical reality and It has a will and has willed humans into being and It provided for humans from their cradle to their grave and all the joys of life that come with existence and It expects humans to behave in a certain way in order to show gratitude and It has communicated that. Then you can’t really expect to be treated the same while being a slave in rebellion to a slave in submission – can you?

    Read the first paragraph that you wrote; you demand the right to be able to insult Him and His emissaries and then expect what in return - Paradise??!! Are you serious? Why does He need you - He has billions of people who believe in Him, beg from Him and revolve their entire lives around Him. Why should He treat you the same as them? Why are you the special snowflake?

    How did the West manage to take the Lord-of-all-that-exists and turn him into the Chump-of-tha-feelz that caters to "muh blasphemy"?

    Hardly a narrative conducive to a fair treatment of people of all beliefs.
     
    Having respect for other faiths and guaranteeing them protection does not entail having to grant them equal rights. If nations in the West decided that Islam could no longer be preached to non-Muslims - or decided to enforce rules that non-Muslim women cannot marry Muslim men (like we do in reverse for our women). Well, that would certainly not be treating it equally with other faiths, but I would hardly categorize that as oppression. Taking away a privilege is not oppression. Now if they decided to steal our children, rape our women or destroy mosques - now that would be oppressive.

    Peace.

    Hi Talha,

    Thanks for taking the time of replying. I thought that I had managed to p*ss you off this time.

    To be clear, what I said about Mohammed and the Coran is what I truthfully and honestly believe. I’m not even sure if he existed but if he did, there is little doubt that he was one of the countless chaps who, over the millennia, have had illusions of supernatural beings speaking to them and sending them on a mission to save humanity, etc. This is easily explained by endogenous or externally induced alterations of the mind.

    In the vast majority of cases nobody pays attention to these lunatics but, under the right circumstances, some of them will manage to gather their followers and religions or sects are born. It happens all the time. Here in Utah we have a good case in point with Joseph Smith, who in the early 19th century also experienced what you yourself must consider deranged illusions. To his credit, though, he didn’t exert violence to impose his message on others. Mohammed had to resort to it because even in those superstitious times, most of his countrymen would not take him seriously.

    As you know, here in the West we had the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution. Inevitably, Christianity and religion in general have experienced a big retreat in all aspects of life. Since humans have spiritual/existential feelings, it is a very well known phenomenon that many Westerners have tried to fill the void left by traditional religion with the resort to Oriental creeds, paranormal beliefs, Gaia/Cosmos worshiping, etc. I think that you are deluding yourself by believing that there is any scope for Islam to flourish in the West. When Islam was regarded as a mostly peaceful religion a few of the people I’ve just mentioned would convert to it (think Cat Stevens) but now that you Muslims seem to be living some sort of bloody Counter-Reformation, you can only expect to attract people at the fringes in the West. There’s never a shortage of those types and I wouldn’t be surprised if conversions to Islam have increased a bit since 9/11.

    By the way, if by some cataclysmic revolution Islam were to become predominant among Westerners, I very much doubt that it would adopt a moderate form. That would mean the return to pre-Enlightenment times and, as usual with new converts, extremism would be more likely to prevail.

    you demand the right to be able to insult Him and His emissaries and then expect what in return – Paradise??!!

    We have discussed this before. If a god existed that wanted us to behave in a certain way, he wouldn’t be playing games with messengers of dubious credibility. And, perhaps more importantly, he wouldn’t have created us so imperfect and sinful in his eyes. That’s silly, it doesn’t make any logical sense so I cannot accept your premise. Besides, to the extent that you believe in a God that imposes the most cruel punishment on humans after having played with them in such a silly way, we are clearly not talking about a benign, merciful being at all. Unless he is almighty but somewhat dumb.

    But of course, all these paradoxes have a simple explanation through the fact that it is not an almighty god that inspired the writings of the Coran. As I said at the beginning, we’re talking about a simple, deranged mind of a superstitious era luckily gone by.

    Best regards,
    Mikel

    Read More
    • Agree: Bliss
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Mikel,

    I thought that I had managed to p*ss you off this time.
     
    If one is well grounded and confident in their tradition, one does not get easily triggered.

    what I truthfully and honestly believe
     
    I didn't think you were being insincere. When in a Muslim land, try to manage to present it in a more respectful manner. When you meet God, He will tell you what He honestly thinks of your opinion.
    "O mankind - Indeed you are ever toiling on towards your Lord - laboriously - and you shalt meet Him." (84:6)

    This is easily explained by endogenous or externally induced alterations of the mind
     
    Sure - you are a materialist - you must necessarily arrive to either this conclusion or that he was lying. Rational conclusions both. Another quite rational conclusion is that he was indeed communicated to by the Divine.

    Mohammed had to resort to it because even in those superstitious times, most of his countrymen would not take him seriously.
     
    No - the Makkans started the hostilities. They lost. They wrote the history. And their history explains that they tried to shut him down violently from the beginning. When he conquered their capital city he granted them amnesty and they converted en masse. The history of Islam is the self-disclosure of the history of the Makkan people including this most important civil war. If you want to contest it, find an external source that records what happened - good luck.

    I very much doubt that it would adopt a moderate form.
     
    You are offering a whole lot of opinion. From what I've seen from converts, they do not tend toward extremism, many go traditional and plenty goSufi. As Prof. David Cook (who is an expert on jihad and global terrorism stated); "Well over 90 percent of converts are going to the Sufis, rather than the Salafis."
    https://youtu.be/2VQ9AvJB_k4?t=53m15s

    They just don't make the news because they don't act like crazed violent freaks.

    That’s silly, it doesn’t make any logical sense so I cannot accept your premise.
     
    You don't have to - that's why you are not Muslim. As Imam Ghazali (ra) stated; claiming something doesn’t make sense to one is not an argument – the proposition may well be ontologically correct and the person is simply unable to process the premise.

    Free will is a package deal - human beings will manifest abusing the privilege. That is how the iniquitous and the righteous will be distinguished - this world is a testing ground. The fact that humans are faulty creatures has wisdom behind it, God intends to manifest His forgiveness and willingness to accept repentance:
    "By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you did not sin God would replace you with people who would sin so they would seek the forgiveness of God and He would forgive them." - reported in Muslim

    we are clearly not talking about a benign, merciful being at all

     

    He's certainly Merciful. I mean look what He is letting you get away with. There are people making millions writings books about how horrible and silly the idea of God is. Making documentaries, earning thousands at speaking engagements, etc. He still feeds them and allows them to be cared for in this world, let's them live to a ripe old age - what incredible forbearance! But He reserves the right to deal with them with justice rather than mercy in the next world. If by benign, you mean you want to be able to pee in His direction and Him just take it and back down...well, that's not even a respectable reaction coming from a human much less the One Who controls the dominion of everything:
    "Does man not see that it is We Who created him from a sperm-drop? Yet behold, he (stands forth) as an open adversary!" (36:77)

    You can explain how silly and illogical you thought this all was when you stand before Him.

    Peace.
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  112. @German_reader
    That's like saying cholera is preferable to plague. And I'm not even sure Pakistanis are in any way preferable to non-Muslim black Africans. Pakistan is a centre of global jihadism and a majority of the population there holds beliefs that can only be described as Islamist (e.g. iirc a majority is in favour of killing "apostates"; you can look it up in the PEW values survey for Islamic countries, AK also had a post about it a while back). In retrospect, allowing the establishment of Pakistan was one of the great geopolitical mistakes of the 20th century.

    “In retrospect, allowing the establishment of Pakistan was one of the great geopolitical mistakes of the 20th century.”

    You can’t consistently believe in ethnic nationalism (i.e. the right of distinct ethnic groups to have a homeland for their group and to live semi-separately from others) and object to Pakistan’s right to exist.

    Indian Muslims perceived themselves as an ethnic group and wanted their own country. They proved that by voting overwhelmingly for the Muslim League in the last election a united British India ever had. It wasn’t your place, or Mountbatten’s, to “allow” Pakistan or not, and the only way one could have prevented it was by bloody civil war.

    Incidentally, there was nothing inevitable about the decline of Pakistan. Bangladesh has followed a very different route and is much more progressive w/r/t women’s roles, fertility, etc..

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    You can’t consistently believe in ethnic nationalism (i.e. the right of distinct ethnic groups to have a homeland for their group and to live semi-separately from others) and object to Pakistan’s right to exist.
     
    You're right about that, as I had already admitted in a previous post a state for the subcontinent's Muslims was a legitimate project.
    However Pakistan today with its support for jihadist movements is a serious problem.
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  113. @Hector_St_Clare
    Actually that's not entirely true of Denmark. The Social Democrats there are generally pretty good on immigration: they were pro-immigration in the 1990s but have recently reversed their policy, in order to compete for the working class vote with the Danish People's Party. They've expressed openness to coalition with the DF and agreed to the DF's demand to maintain tough immigration laws. Their former leader, Helle Thorning-Schmidt said "Denmark is not a multi-ethnic society" on a TV show, which caused a lot of the Greens and other coalition allies of the Social Democrats to get all outraged.


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/denmark/11680974/Denmarks-election-campaign-has-been-a-race-to-the-bottom-on-immigration.html

    The defense of the blasphemy law was stupid, but *in general* they're pretty good on immigration related issues. And it needs to be said, "should we welcome more Muslim immigration into Denmark" is a separate queston from "how should we cater to sensibilities of the ones who are here". I'm much more concerned with limiting further immigration and "diversification" of European countries than I am whether people are free to insult Muhammed or not. I'm more concerned about Europe remaining, well, European than I am about Europe remaining free.

    Interesting, I hadn’t known that about Denmark. The situation with the Social Democrats in Germany or the Labour party in Britain is very different though.

    I’m more concerned about Europe remaining, well, European than I am about Europe remaining free.

    I don’t agree with that. This catering to the sensibilities of ever-offended Muslims needs to end; if Islam and its tenets are declared to be exempt from criticism, there is no chance the Muslims already in Europe will ever to any meaningful degree assimilate or reform their religion so that it is more compatible with modern Western societies. The excessive tolerance (or maybe just ignorance) practiced in Western Europe during the last few decades has empowered and emboldened the most reactionary parts of Islamic communities; there must be no further accomodation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hector_St_Clare
    Labour in New Zealand (led by the 37 y/o Jacinda Ardern) is following the same route as the Danish Social Democrats, going more conservative than the Conservatives on immigration. It's quite likely (assuming they win less than 45% of the vote) that they may coalition with the ethnic nationalist NZ First party (led by a half English half Maori guy) to get the conservatives out of power.

    Though in fairness to the NZ Labour, NZ has truly *massive* amounts of immigration currently (mostly East Asian) so the problem is correspondingly more severe than in most countries.

    Once a couple of social democratic parties have gone that route and backed away from multiculturalism (IIRC the Czech and Slovak Social Democrats are also anti-migration) you may see more follow.

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  114. @Hector_St_Clare
    "In retrospect, allowing the establishment of Pakistan was one of the great geopolitical mistakes of the 20th century."

    You can't consistently believe in ethnic nationalism (i.e. the right of distinct ethnic groups to have a homeland for their group and to live semi-separately from others) and object to Pakistan's right to exist.

    Indian Muslims perceived themselves as an ethnic group and wanted their own country. They proved that by voting overwhelmingly for the Muslim League in the last election a united British India ever had. It wasn't your place, or Mountbatten's, to "allow" Pakistan or not, and the only way one could have prevented it was by bloody civil war.

    Incidentally, there was nothing inevitable about the decline of Pakistan. Bangladesh has followed a very different route and is much more progressive w/r/t women's roles, fertility, etc..

    You can’t consistently believe in ethnic nationalism (i.e. the right of distinct ethnic groups to have a homeland for their group and to live semi-separately from others) and object to Pakistan’s right to exist.

    You’re right about that, as I had already admitted in a previous post a state for the subcontinent’s Muslims was a legitimate project.
    However Pakistan today with its support for jihadist movements is a serious problem.

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  115. Talha says:
    @Mikel
    Hi Talha,

    Thanks for taking the time of replying. I thought that I had managed to p*ss you off this time.

    To be clear, what I said about Mohammed and the Coran is what I truthfully and honestly believe. I'm not even sure if he existed but if he did, there is little doubt that he was one of the countless chaps who, over the millennia, have had illusions of supernatural beings speaking to them and sending them on a mission to save humanity, etc. This is easily explained by endogenous or externally induced alterations of the mind.

    In the vast majority of cases nobody pays attention to these lunatics but, under the right circumstances, some of them will manage to gather their followers and religions or sects are born. It happens all the time. Here in Utah we have a good case in point with Joseph Smith, who in the early 19th century also experienced what you yourself must consider deranged illusions. To his credit, though, he didn't exert violence to impose his message on others. Mohammed had to resort to it because even in those superstitious times, most of his countrymen would not take him seriously.

    As you know, here in the West we had the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution. Inevitably, Christianity and religion in general have experienced a big retreat in all aspects of life. Since humans have spiritual/existential feelings, it is a very well known phenomenon that many Westerners have tried to fill the void left by traditional religion with the resort to Oriental creeds, paranormal beliefs, Gaia/Cosmos worshiping, etc. I think that you are deluding yourself by believing that there is any scope for Islam to flourish in the West. When Islam was regarded as a mostly peaceful religion a few of the people I've just mentioned would convert to it (think Cat Stevens) but now that you Muslims seem to be living some sort of bloody Counter-Reformation, you can only expect to attract people at the fringes in the West. There's never a shortage of those types and I wouldn't be surprised if conversions to Islam have increased a bit since 9/11.

    By the way, if by some cataclysmic revolution Islam were to become predominant among Westerners, I very much doubt that it would adopt a moderate form. That would mean the return to pre-Enlightenment times and, as usual with new converts, extremism would be more likely to prevail.

    you demand the right to be able to insult Him and His emissaries and then expect what in return – Paradise??!!
     
    We have discussed this before. If a god existed that wanted us to behave in a certain way, he wouldn't be playing games with messengers of dubious credibility. And, perhaps more importantly, he wouldn't have created us so imperfect and sinful in his eyes. That's silly, it doesn't make any logical sense so I cannot accept your premise. Besides, to the extent that you believe in a God that imposes the most cruel punishment on humans after having played with them in such a silly way, we are clearly not talking about a benign, merciful being at all. Unless he is almighty but somewhat dumb.

    But of course, all these paradoxes have a simple explanation through the fact that it is not an almighty god that inspired the writings of the Coran. As I said at the beginning, we're talking about a simple, deranged mind of a superstitious era luckily gone by.

    Best regards,
    Mikel

    Hey Mikel,

    I thought that I had managed to p*ss you off this time.

    If one is well grounded and confident in their tradition, one does not get easily triggered.

    what I truthfully and honestly believe

    I didn’t think you were being insincere. When in a Muslim land, try to manage to present it in a more respectful manner. When you meet God, He will tell you what He honestly thinks of your opinion.
    “O mankind – Indeed you are ever toiling on towards your Lord – laboriously – and you shalt meet Him.” (84:6)

    This is easily explained by endogenous or externally induced alterations of the mind

    Sure – you are a materialist – you must necessarily arrive to either this conclusion or that he was lying. Rational conclusions both. Another quite rational conclusion is that he was indeed communicated to by the Divine.

    Mohammed had to resort to it because even in those superstitious times, most of his countrymen would not take him seriously.

    No – the Makkans started the hostilities. They lost. They wrote the history. And their history explains that they tried to shut him down violently from the beginning. When he conquered their capital city he granted them amnesty and they converted en masse. The history of Islam is the self-disclosure of the history of the Makkan people including this most important civil war. If you want to contest it, find an external source that records what happened – good luck.

    I very much doubt that it would adopt a moderate form.

    You are offering a whole lot of opinion. From what I’ve seen from converts, they do not tend toward extremism, many go traditional and plenty goSufi. As Prof. David Cook (who is an expert on jihad and global terrorism stated); “Well over 90 percent of converts are going to the Sufis, rather than the Salafis.”

    They just don’t make the news because they don’t act like crazed violent freaks.

    That’s silly, it doesn’t make any logical sense so I cannot accept your premise.

    You don’t have to – that’s why you are not Muslim. As Imam Ghazali (ra) stated; claiming something doesn’t make sense to one is not an argument – the proposition may well be ontologically correct and the person is simply unable to process the premise.

    Free will is a package deal – human beings will manifest abusing the privilege. That is how the iniquitous and the righteous will be distinguished – this world is a testing ground. The fact that humans are faulty creatures has wisdom behind it, God intends to manifest His forgiveness and willingness to accept repentance:
    “By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you did not sin God would replace you with people who would sin so they would seek the forgiveness of God and He would forgive them.” – reported in Muslim

    we are clearly not talking about a benign, merciful being at all

    He’s certainly Merciful. I mean look what He is letting you get away with. There are people making millions writings books about how horrible and silly the idea of God is. Making documentaries, earning thousands at speaking engagements, etc. He still feeds them and allows them to be cared for in this world, let’s them live to a ripe old age – what incredible forbearance! But He reserves the right to deal with them with justice rather than mercy in the next world. If by benign, you mean you want to be able to pee in His direction and Him just take it and back down…well, that’s not even a respectable reaction coming from a human much less the One Who controls the dominion of everything:
    “Does man not see that it is We Who created him from a sperm-drop? Yet behold, he (stands forth) as an open adversary!” (36:77)

    You can explain how silly and illogical you thought this all was when you stand before Him.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hector_St_Clare
    "But He reserves the right to deal with them with justice rather than mercy in the next world."

    I don't agree with that. Jesus Christ prayed for the people who were mocking him while He died, so I see no reason why he would any less merciful when He comes the second time around.

    I'm a theist, not a materialist, but I join with Mikel in utterly rejecting the Muslim conception of God (which also is shared by many Christians, to be fair) and desiring no part of His kingdom. A God that isn't perfectly merciful is in my opinion not a perfect Being, and not one worthy of worship.

    I look forward to sharing an afterlife with you, however: my hope is you turn out to be wrong about who the true God is.
    , @Mikel
    Come on Talha. Your life may all revolve around your religion, like that of so many Muslims I have met, but you are an intelligent guy. Surely you are capable of understanding that a god that reserves cruel retribution in the after-life for those who don't manage to believe in him is not a merciful being.

    Perhaps you have not really thought much about the concept of eternal torment. Have you ever endured 10 minutes of torture? Half an hour? Well that's nothing. We are talking (or rather the Coran is talking) about experiencing that horrible sensation forever. There will be humans who were nice people and never did much of anything wrong to anyone. However, they had the bad luck of being born in a time and place where their intellect would not allow them to believe in Allah. The Coran makes it clear that such a rejection will condemn them to eternal torment. You can't seriously maintain that such a revengeful god is merciful. I personally do not wish such a fate to anyone at all, not even to animals. Let alone for the mere sin of not believing in me.

    You can explain how silly and illogical you thought this all was when you stand before Him.

     

    If I ever meet Allah I will be so horrified that I doubt I will be able to explain myself with any degree of coherence. Remember what's awaiting me if, as is more than likely, I don't manage to make my case. But be careful Talha. If I find some degree of composure, I might request your presence as a witness. Since you promised me in a previous thread that you wish me no bad, you would argue against putting me under eternal torment, wouldn't you?

    Best regards,

    Mikel
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  116. @Talha
    Hey Mikel,

    I thought that I had managed to p*ss you off this time.
     
    If one is well grounded and confident in their tradition, one does not get easily triggered.

    what I truthfully and honestly believe
     
    I didn't think you were being insincere. When in a Muslim land, try to manage to present it in a more respectful manner. When you meet God, He will tell you what He honestly thinks of your opinion.
    "O mankind - Indeed you are ever toiling on towards your Lord - laboriously - and you shalt meet Him." (84:6)

    This is easily explained by endogenous or externally induced alterations of the mind
     
    Sure - you are a materialist - you must necessarily arrive to either this conclusion or that he was lying. Rational conclusions both. Another quite rational conclusion is that he was indeed communicated to by the Divine.

    Mohammed had to resort to it because even in those superstitious times, most of his countrymen would not take him seriously.
     
    No - the Makkans started the hostilities. They lost. They wrote the history. And their history explains that they tried to shut him down violently from the beginning. When he conquered their capital city he granted them amnesty and they converted en masse. The history of Islam is the self-disclosure of the history of the Makkan people including this most important civil war. If you want to contest it, find an external source that records what happened - good luck.

    I very much doubt that it would adopt a moderate form.
     
    You are offering a whole lot of opinion. From what I've seen from converts, they do not tend toward extremism, many go traditional and plenty goSufi. As Prof. David Cook (who is an expert on jihad and global terrorism stated); "Well over 90 percent of converts are going to the Sufis, rather than the Salafis."
    https://youtu.be/2VQ9AvJB_k4?t=53m15s

    They just don't make the news because they don't act like crazed violent freaks.

    That’s silly, it doesn’t make any logical sense so I cannot accept your premise.
     
    You don't have to - that's why you are not Muslim. As Imam Ghazali (ra) stated; claiming something doesn’t make sense to one is not an argument – the proposition may well be ontologically correct and the person is simply unable to process the premise.

    Free will is a package deal - human beings will manifest abusing the privilege. That is how the iniquitous and the righteous will be distinguished - this world is a testing ground. The fact that humans are faulty creatures has wisdom behind it, God intends to manifest His forgiveness and willingness to accept repentance:
    "By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you did not sin God would replace you with people who would sin so they would seek the forgiveness of God and He would forgive them." - reported in Muslim

    we are clearly not talking about a benign, merciful being at all

     

    He's certainly Merciful. I mean look what He is letting you get away with. There are people making millions writings books about how horrible and silly the idea of God is. Making documentaries, earning thousands at speaking engagements, etc. He still feeds them and allows them to be cared for in this world, let's them live to a ripe old age - what incredible forbearance! But He reserves the right to deal with them with justice rather than mercy in the next world. If by benign, you mean you want to be able to pee in His direction and Him just take it and back down...well, that's not even a respectable reaction coming from a human much less the One Who controls the dominion of everything:
    "Does man not see that it is We Who created him from a sperm-drop? Yet behold, he (stands forth) as an open adversary!" (36:77)

    You can explain how silly and illogical you thought this all was when you stand before Him.

    Peace.

    “But He reserves the right to deal with them with justice rather than mercy in the next world.”

    I don’t agree with that. Jesus Christ prayed for the people who were mocking him while He died, so I see no reason why he would any less merciful when He comes the second time around.

    I’m a theist, not a materialist, but I join with Mikel in utterly rejecting the Muslim conception of God (which also is shared by many Christians, to be fair) and desiring no part of His kingdom. A God that isn’t perfectly merciful is in my opinion not a perfect Being, and not one worthy of worship.

    I look forward to sharing an afterlife with you, however: my hope is you turn out to be wrong about who the true God is.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    A God that isn’t perfectly merciful is in my opinion not a perfect Being, and not one worthy of worship.

    I look forward to sharing an afterlife with you, however: my hope is you turn out to be wrong about who the true God is.
     
    My knowledge of theology isn't that deep, but as I understand it Talha is correct insofar as the traditional view of the Church in the West was closer to his conception of God than to yours. Do you subscribe to concepts like universal reconciliation which have been attributed to some early Christian writers like Origen?
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  117. @German_reader
    Interesting, I hadn't known that about Denmark. The situation with the Social Democrats in Germany or the Labour party in Britain is very different though.

    I’m more concerned about Europe remaining, well, European than I am about Europe remaining free.
     
    I don't agree with that. This catering to the sensibilities of ever-offended Muslims needs to end; if Islam and its tenets are declared to be exempt from criticism, there is no chance the Muslims already in Europe will ever to any meaningful degree assimilate or reform their religion so that it is more compatible with modern Western societies. The excessive tolerance (or maybe just ignorance) practiced in Western Europe during the last few decades has empowered and emboldened the most reactionary parts of Islamic communities; there must be no further accomodation.

    Labour in New Zealand (led by the 37 y/o Jacinda Ardern) is following the same route as the Danish Social Democrats, going more conservative than the Conservatives on immigration. It’s quite likely (assuming they win less than 45% of the vote) that they may coalition with the ethnic nationalist NZ First party (led by a half English half Maori guy) to get the conservatives out of power.

    Though in fairness to the NZ Labour, NZ has truly *massive* amounts of immigration currently (mostly East Asian) so the problem is correspondingly more severe than in most countries.

    Once a couple of social democratic parties have gone that route and backed away from multiculturalism (IIRC the Czech and Slovak Social Democrats are also anti-migration) you may see more follow.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    That's more related to the general problems of mass immigration though...according to Wikipedia New Zealand has under 50 000 Muslims, that's not much even for such a small country. The problems in Europe are far more advanced and of an entirely different magnitude regarding Islam. Muslims are an important voting bloc for Socialist parties in Western Europe, they're unlikely to risk antagonizing them.
    Though who knows what might happen in the future...maybe at some point there'll even be openly Muslim parties dominating certain regions. Erdogan has actually exhorted Turks in Germany not to vote for the Social Democrats, Christian Democrats or Greens in the upcoming elections because those parties supposedly are anti-Turkey (a bizarre overreaction to their mild criticism of Erdogan's increasingly despotic behaviour). He didn't say what Turks should vote for instead and so far attempts at creating a Turkish or Muslim party in Germany haven't been very successful, but maybe something like this will become viable at some point in the future.
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  118. @Hector_St_Clare
    Labour in New Zealand (led by the 37 y/o Jacinda Ardern) is following the same route as the Danish Social Democrats, going more conservative than the Conservatives on immigration. It's quite likely (assuming they win less than 45% of the vote) that they may coalition with the ethnic nationalist NZ First party (led by a half English half Maori guy) to get the conservatives out of power.

    Though in fairness to the NZ Labour, NZ has truly *massive* amounts of immigration currently (mostly East Asian) so the problem is correspondingly more severe than in most countries.

    Once a couple of social democratic parties have gone that route and backed away from multiculturalism (IIRC the Czech and Slovak Social Democrats are also anti-migration) you may see more follow.

    That’s more related to the general problems of mass immigration though…according to Wikipedia New Zealand has under 50 000 Muslims, that’s not much even for such a small country. The problems in Europe are far more advanced and of an entirely different magnitude regarding Islam. Muslims are an important voting bloc for Socialist parties in Western Europe, they’re unlikely to risk antagonizing them.
    Though who knows what might happen in the future…maybe at some point there’ll even be openly Muslim parties dominating certain regions. Erdogan has actually exhorted Turks in Germany not to vote for the Social Democrats, Christian Democrats or Greens in the upcoming elections because those parties supposedly are anti-Turkey (a bizarre overreaction to their mild criticism of Erdogan’s increasingly despotic behaviour). He didn’t say what Turks should vote for instead and so far attempts at creating a Turkish or Muslim party in Germany haven’t been very successful, but maybe something like this will become viable at some point in the future.

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    • Replies: @Hector_St_Clare
    Yes, New Zealand doesn't have many Muslims, but they are taking in a huge level of immigrants proportionate to their size (last year they had net migration of 1.5% of their population, equivalent to 1.2 million people for a country Germany's size), and the immigrants are largely culturally, ethnically and racially different from either the English or Maori 'native' stock. Clearly enough NZ folks care about it that it's become a major issue for the opposition (both Labour and the ethnic nationalists). Especially since New Zealand only dropped its preference for European immigrants about 30 years ago. I keep stressing this in the comments here, but the problems posed by mass immigration have nothing to do with Islam specifically, they're much more abstract and general, and the conflicts are over ethnicity much more than religion. I think a lot of Europeans would much prefer immigration by blue eyed Muslim immigrants from the Caucasus or the Balkans rather than from Christian Filipinos or Christian Africans.
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  119. Talha says:
    @German_reader

    I mean Nazism, White Nationalism and other ideologies may not be religions, but they certainly would restrict the liberties of others if they came into power. Should their voices not be tolerated – or are you only really concerned about Islam because it’s the only one to take seriously?
     
    Real Nazis are a total fringe movement today, but yes, if there were millions of them in today's West steadily increasing their influence I'd be in favour of repression against them. Given the historical track record of Nazism anything else would be foolish.
    "White nationalism" can mean many different things, from people who dream of eliminating all non-whites (maybe even globally) to people who want to stop immigration and ensure whites remain a majority in Europe and North America. Obviously I sympathize a lot with the latter view. It may well be though that some forms of White nationalism would need to be restricted in their activity under different circumstances.

    I will be quite impressed if you got Western women to go along with the notion that they legally can’t marry Muslim men – quite impressed indeed.
     
    You're seeing things too much through your own personal experience. Most Western women aren't interested in Muslim men at all, in fact often find them rather repellent with their patriarchical views. There's no need for any legislation, and in any case I'm not in favour of laws restrichting people's marriage choices like that. Only weak and insecure cultures would need to control "their" women like this.

    Hey G_R,

    So we agree in principle; it is not immoral to pen up a tiger, we are simply disagreeing on when it is proper to do so – when it is still cute and cuddly or when it can kill and eat a bison.

    Most Western women aren’t interested in Muslim men at all

    Sure, I’ll agree with this.

    in fact often find them rather repellent with their patriarchical views

    Prof. Jordan Petersen has a different take:

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    So we agree in principle; it is not immoral to pen up a tiger, we are simply disagreeing on when it is proper to do so
     
    No, I don't see any equivalence...I admitted that it might be necessary to limit the actions of groups which have made it clear that they want to gain power for themselves and then erect a new order permanently ensuring their dominance and take away rights from their opponents; e.g. it seems likely that genuine Nazis would again create a concentration camp system and put anyone they regard as undesirable into it (or to bring up an hypothetical example related to Islam: if there was a group of fanatically anti-religious activists - e.g. Marxist revolutionaries - that have made it clear they want to erect an anti-religious dictatorship in Pakistan and persecute Muslims, that would be comparable).
    You on the other hand, as I see it, would like to outlaw certain anti-religious statements, presumably on the basis that they could provoke divine anger if left unpunished, or turn people away from what you regard as divinely revealed truth. Of course that position makes a lot of sense if one accepts the claims and teachings of Islam, but it's not really convincing to anybody else.
    , @Anon
    I would be more impressed with the Professor's take if his name was Jordana Petersdottr.
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  120. @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    So we agree in principle; it is not immoral to pen up a tiger, we are simply disagreeing on when it is proper to do so - when it is still cute and cuddly or when it can kill and eat a bison.

    Most Western women aren’t interested in Muslim men at all
     
    Sure, I'll agree with this.

    in fact often find them rather repellent with their patriarchical views
     
    Prof. Jordan Petersen has a different take:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED8r5jGijV0

    Peace.

    So we agree in principle; it is not immoral to pen up a tiger, we are simply disagreeing on when it is proper to do so

    No, I don’t see any equivalence…I admitted that it might be necessary to limit the actions of groups which have made it clear that they want to gain power for themselves and then erect a new order permanently ensuring their dominance and take away rights from their opponents; e.g. it seems likely that genuine Nazis would again create a concentration camp system and put anyone they regard as undesirable into it (or to bring up an hypothetical example related to Islam: if there was a group of fanatically anti-religious activists – e.g. Marxist revolutionaries – that have made it clear they want to erect an anti-religious dictatorship in Pakistan and persecute Muslims, that would be comparable).
    You on the other hand, as I see it, would like to outlaw certain anti-religious statements, presumably on the basis that they could provoke divine anger if left unpunished, or turn people away from what you regard as divinely revealed truth. Of course that position makes a lot of sense if one accepts the claims and teachings of Islam, but it’s not really convincing to anybody else.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    You are correct that this is not the same - not in application or implementation any way. But in principle you are willing to advocate steps to interdict any threat to your socio-political order of liberal secularism - you cannot escape Popper's Paradox. You are willing to take steps A, B and C once a threat has arisen, we are willing to take steps A, B and C to ensure no threat arises in the first place.

    That is a strategic difference, not a principled one. To illustrate the difference, consider the two examples:

    1) "We will not target the enemy's women and children as long as they commit to also not targeting our women and children." This is a strategic position.
    2) "We will not target the enemy's women and children even if they target our women and children because it is immoral." This is a principled position.

    Now we can discuss which is a wiser position to take; 1) set consistent ground rules from the get go to ensure stability or 2) try to take mitigation steps at the cusp of a civil war.

    Of course that position makes a lot of sense if one accepts the claims and teachings of Islam, but it’s not really convincing to anybody else.
     
    One must realize that taking a position that secular-liberalism must be defended from threats by implementing policies that negate its own foundational principles is dogmatic - it simply is not self-evident that such a paradoxical framework represents an objective truth.

    Peace.
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  121. Talha says:
    @Hector_St_Clare
    There are only two significant Muslim majority areas in India, Kashmir and the northern part of Kerala. (FTR I agree with you that India is too big a country and should be broken up: both Kashmir and Kerala would be better off on their own).

    I also appreciate your honest and straightforward defense of your faith on a comment board where most commenters (myself included) are, well, quite hostile to what you believe. I'm quite a bit comforted by what you say about the limits of Islamic blasphemy laws. If I understand you correctly, saying something like "Monotheism is wrong" or "God became incarnate as a Man" or "Muhammed was deluded by the devil" are protected as legitimate expressions of religious viewpoints, but e.g. portraying Muhammed as a pig are not? Since you say "a certain degree of blasphemy is taken for granted" in order to allow minority religions to express their opinions?

    Also, what do you think of blasphemy laws in countries where Muslims are a small minority? I think you suggest below that this will only become an issue when Muslims become a majority, but that's not correct: in many countries today a large chunk of the native population can be counted on to take the Muslim side. Denmark for example overturned its blasphemy law earlier this year, and I suspect it was largely a proxy for what you think about Islam. The Social Democrats, believe it or not, defended the blasphemy law and th conservatives opposed it.

    Hey Hector,

    I also appreciate your honest and straightforward defense of your faith on a comment board where most commenters (myself included) are, well, quite hostile to what you believe.

    No problem – I don’t get triggered by being challenged. And as another Muslim brother (who is observing the thread mentioned), G_R is being pretty fair and civil about how he is conversing so I welcome that. I’m trying to present some points of view and considerations people may not have thought about before. We can disagree, it’s all good.

    If I understand you correctly, saying something like “Monotheism is wrong” or “God became incarnate as a Man” or “Muhammed was deluded by the devil” are protected as legitimate expressions of religious viewpoints, but e.g. portraying Muhammed as a pig are not?

    Exactly, this is what I am getting at and I have presented documented rulings from as far back as 9th century through the the current era to show there is definitely a degree of allowance.

    Also, what do you think of blasphemy laws in countries where Muslims are a small minority?

    Why not if the majority go along with it? Heck, we would be happy if the West met us half way and left the Prophet (pbuh) open to ridicule but prohibited it for the Son of Mary, Moses, Abraham, etc. (pbut). We’re sick of seeing their names denigrated also.

    There is a metaphysical aspect to this also; if God has deemed it time that the insult of men like the Son of Mary (pbuh) desist in the West (as in previous centuries) and non-Muslims will not make it happen, He can simply bring about a people that will make sure it does.

    A God that isn’t perfectly merciful is in my opinion not a perfect Being, and not one worthy of worship.

    Interesting – so there is a complete negation of the attribute of Divine Justice? Do you mean to say that if I don’t believe in a Trinitarian God or that Jesus (pbuh) died for my sins (or Mikel here openly mocks and insults Him) – there are zero negative consequences in the afterlife? If so, that works out great and I have both bases covered.

    Now if that is not the case…well, we are back to a God that will punish the iniquitous according to His parameters – just different ones in your understanding.

    I remember you mentioning your were heterodox; how widely accepted is your view among normative Christian doctrine? You understand or course, if a Dawoodi Bohra tried to claim he spoke for Islam, you’d have your doubts.

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    There is a metaphysical aspect to this also; if God has deemed it time that the insult of men like the Son of Mary (pbuh) desist in the West (as in previous centuries) and non-Muslims will not make it happen, He can simply bring about a people that will make sure it does.
     
    That would be pretty odd, from a Christian perspective you're of course insulting Christ as well, since you're denying His divinity. I can't see why the Christian God should choose Muslims as the instruments of His will (except maybe as a scourge to chastise a sinful Christian people).
    , @AP

    Interesting – so there is a complete negation of the attribute of Divine Justice? Do you mean to say that if I don’t believe in a Trinitarian God or that Jesus (pbuh) died for my sins (or Mikel here openly mocks and insults Him) – there are zero negative consequences in the afterlife?
     
    I am not a Christian theologian but my (limited) understanding is that the consequences for sins are self-inflicted and not "God's work." The process of sinning makes the sinner distant from God in incapable of union with Him here and in the afterlife; it's the sinner's own doing. Some priest speculated that the sinner himself transforms the experience of God's eternal warmth and light into eternal and intolerable fire, it isn't something thrown by God onto the sinner.

    An allegorical treatment of this is the charming C.S. Lewis short story:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Divorce
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  122. @Talha
    Hey Hector,

    I also appreciate your honest and straightforward defense of your faith on a comment board where most commenters (myself included) are, well, quite hostile to what you believe.
     
    No problem - I don't get triggered by being challenged. And as another Muslim brother (who is observing the thread mentioned), G_R is being pretty fair and civil about how he is conversing so I welcome that. I'm trying to present some points of view and considerations people may not have thought about before. We can disagree, it's all good.

    If I understand you correctly, saying something like “Monotheism is wrong” or “God became incarnate as a Man” or “Muhammed was deluded by the devil” are protected as legitimate expressions of religious viewpoints, but e.g. portraying Muhammed as a pig are not?
     
    Exactly, this is what I am getting at and I have presented documented rulings from as far back as 9th century through the the current era to show there is definitely a degree of allowance.

    Also, what do you think of blasphemy laws in countries where Muslims are a small minority?
     
    Why not if the majority go along with it? Heck, we would be happy if the West met us half way and left the Prophet (pbuh) open to ridicule but prohibited it for the Son of Mary, Moses, Abraham, etc. (pbut). We're sick of seeing their names denigrated also.

    There is a metaphysical aspect to this also; if God has deemed it time that the insult of men like the Son of Mary (pbuh) desist in the West (as in previous centuries) and non-Muslims will not make it happen, He can simply bring about a people that will make sure it does.

    A God that isn’t perfectly merciful is in my opinion not a perfect Being, and not one worthy of worship.
     
    Interesting - so there is a complete negation of the attribute of Divine Justice? Do you mean to say that if I don't believe in a Trinitarian God or that Jesus (pbuh) died for my sins (or Mikel here openly mocks and insults Him) - there are zero negative consequences in the afterlife? If so, that works out great and I have both bases covered.

    Now if that is not the case...well, we are back to a God that will punish the iniquitous according to His parameters - just different ones in your understanding.

    I remember you mentioning your were heterodox; how widely accepted is your view among normative Christian doctrine? You understand or course, if a Dawoodi Bohra tried to claim he spoke for Islam, you'd have your doubts.

    Peace.

    There is a metaphysical aspect to this also; if God has deemed it time that the insult of men like the Son of Mary (pbuh) desist in the West (as in previous centuries) and non-Muslims will not make it happen, He can simply bring about a people that will make sure it does.

    That would be pretty odd, from a Christian perspective you’re of course insulting Christ as well, since you’re denying His divinity. I can’t see why the Christian God should choose Muslims as the instruments of His will (except maybe as a scourge to chastise a sinful Christian people).

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    • Replies: @Talha
    The "Muslim" God dislikes that His emissary, the Son of Mary (pbuh), is being denigrated in public view. I brought him up because he is a common honorific figure between us and Christians and his honor was untouchable at one time in the West.

    Us denying his divinity can't really be compared to crucifix dildos, can it?

    Peace.
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  123. @Hector_St_Clare
    "But He reserves the right to deal with them with justice rather than mercy in the next world."

    I don't agree with that. Jesus Christ prayed for the people who were mocking him while He died, so I see no reason why he would any less merciful when He comes the second time around.

    I'm a theist, not a materialist, but I join with Mikel in utterly rejecting the Muslim conception of God (which also is shared by many Christians, to be fair) and desiring no part of His kingdom. A God that isn't perfectly merciful is in my opinion not a perfect Being, and not one worthy of worship.

    I look forward to sharing an afterlife with you, however: my hope is you turn out to be wrong about who the true God is.

    A God that isn’t perfectly merciful is in my opinion not a perfect Being, and not one worthy of worship.

    I look forward to sharing an afterlife with you, however: my hope is you turn out to be wrong about who the true God is.

    My knowledge of theology isn’t that deep, but as I understand it Talha is correct insofar as the traditional view of the Church in the West was closer to his conception of God than to yours. Do you subscribe to concepts like universal reconciliation which have been attributed to some early Christian writers like Origen?

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  124. @German_reader
    That's more related to the general problems of mass immigration though...according to Wikipedia New Zealand has under 50 000 Muslims, that's not much even for such a small country. The problems in Europe are far more advanced and of an entirely different magnitude regarding Islam. Muslims are an important voting bloc for Socialist parties in Western Europe, they're unlikely to risk antagonizing them.
    Though who knows what might happen in the future...maybe at some point there'll even be openly Muslim parties dominating certain regions. Erdogan has actually exhorted Turks in Germany not to vote for the Social Democrats, Christian Democrats or Greens in the upcoming elections because those parties supposedly are anti-Turkey (a bizarre overreaction to their mild criticism of Erdogan's increasingly despotic behaviour). He didn't say what Turks should vote for instead and so far attempts at creating a Turkish or Muslim party in Germany haven't been very successful, but maybe something like this will become viable at some point in the future.

    Yes, New Zealand doesn’t have many Muslims, but they are taking in a huge level of immigrants proportionate to their size (last year they had net migration of 1.5% of their population, equivalent to 1.2 million people for a country Germany’s size), and the immigrants are largely culturally, ethnically and racially different from either the English or Maori ‘native’ stock. Clearly enough NZ folks care about it that it’s become a major issue for the opposition (both Labour and the ethnic nationalists). Especially since New Zealand only dropped its preference for European immigrants about 30 years ago. I keep stressing this in the comments here, but the problems posed by mass immigration have nothing to do with Islam specifically, they’re much more abstract and general, and the conflicts are over ethnicity much more than religion. I think a lot of Europeans would much prefer immigration by blue eyed Muslim immigrants from the Caucasus or the Balkans rather than from Christian Filipinos or Christian Africans.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    I think a lot of Europeans would much prefer immigration by blue eyed Muslim immigrants from the Caucasus or the Balkans rather than from Christian Filipinos or Christian Africans.
     
    I'm not sure about that at all tbh. Ok, in regards to Bosnians maybe, provided they're moderate or non-observant in their religion, like people used to be there (which sadly seems to be changing due to influence from Saudi-Arabia and similarly regressive countries). But would I rather take in an equivalent number of Chechens or of Catholic Filipinos as immigrants? I'd certainly go with the Filipinos. At least they're unlikely to chop or blow me up under cries of "Allahu akbar". At worst they'll bolster the power of the Catholic church, but that's something we're familiar with; they won't be the outpost of a different civilization that has been historically hostile towards Europe.
    Race/ethnicity obviously matters a lot, and I'm not in favour of mass immigration in general, but Islam adds a whole additional dimension of potential conflict.
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  125. @Hector_St_Clare
    Yes, New Zealand doesn't have many Muslims, but they are taking in a huge level of immigrants proportionate to their size (last year they had net migration of 1.5% of their population, equivalent to 1.2 million people for a country Germany's size), and the immigrants are largely culturally, ethnically and racially different from either the English or Maori 'native' stock. Clearly enough NZ folks care about it that it's become a major issue for the opposition (both Labour and the ethnic nationalists). Especially since New Zealand only dropped its preference for European immigrants about 30 years ago. I keep stressing this in the comments here, but the problems posed by mass immigration have nothing to do with Islam specifically, they're much more abstract and general, and the conflicts are over ethnicity much more than religion. I think a lot of Europeans would much prefer immigration by blue eyed Muslim immigrants from the Caucasus or the Balkans rather than from Christian Filipinos or Christian Africans.

    I think a lot of Europeans would much prefer immigration by blue eyed Muslim immigrants from the Caucasus or the Balkans rather than from Christian Filipinos or Christian Africans.

    I’m not sure about that at all tbh. Ok, in regards to Bosnians maybe, provided they’re moderate or non-observant in their religion, like people used to be there (which sadly seems to be changing due to influence from Saudi-Arabia and similarly regressive countries). But would I rather take in an equivalent number of Chechens or of Catholic Filipinos as immigrants? I’d certainly go with the Filipinos. At least they’re unlikely to chop or blow me up under cries of “Allahu akbar”. At worst they’ll bolster the power of the Catholic church, but that’s something we’re familiar with; they won’t be the outpost of a different civilization that has been historically hostile towards Europe.
    Race/ethnicity obviously matters a lot, and I’m not in favour of mass immigration in general, but Islam adds a whole additional dimension of potential conflict.

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    • Replies: @AP

    . But would I rather take in an equivalent number of Chechens or of Catholic Filipinos as immigrants? I’d certainly go with the Filipinos. At least they’re unlikely to chop or blow me up under cries of “Allahu akbar”. At worst they’ll bolster the power of the Catholic church, but that’s something we’re familiar with;
     
    You may not have many Filipinos in Germany; there are many on the USA. They are rather ideal immigrants: very pleasant and friendly, hard-working, and Christian (so, familiar). And though they tend not to be as educated as, say, upper caste Hindus or Chinese, they are generally a step above mere laborers; there may be few Filipino physicians, but many Filipino nurses. Intermarriage rates seem to be high.

    There is something to be said about preserving one's native culture, but if you are going to have immigrants to places with native European cultures,, I can't think of any non-Europeans who would be better than Filipinos.
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  126. Talha says:
    @German_reader

    There is a metaphysical aspect to this also; if God has deemed it time that the insult of men like the Son of Mary (pbuh) desist in the West (as in previous centuries) and non-Muslims will not make it happen, He can simply bring about a people that will make sure it does.
     
    That would be pretty odd, from a Christian perspective you're of course insulting Christ as well, since you're denying His divinity. I can't see why the Christian God should choose Muslims as the instruments of His will (except maybe as a scourge to chastise a sinful Christian people).

    The “Muslim” God dislikes that His emissary, the Son of Mary (pbuh), is being denigrated in public view. I brought him up because he is a common honorific figure between us and Christians and his honor was untouchable at one time in the West.

    Us denying his divinity can’t really be compared to crucifix dildos, can it?

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    But you also deny the crucifixion, so can it really be an insult?

    (only joking, of course)
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  127. Talha says:
    @German_reader

    So we agree in principle; it is not immoral to pen up a tiger, we are simply disagreeing on when it is proper to do so
     
    No, I don't see any equivalence...I admitted that it might be necessary to limit the actions of groups which have made it clear that they want to gain power for themselves and then erect a new order permanently ensuring their dominance and take away rights from their opponents; e.g. it seems likely that genuine Nazis would again create a concentration camp system and put anyone they regard as undesirable into it (or to bring up an hypothetical example related to Islam: if there was a group of fanatically anti-religious activists - e.g. Marxist revolutionaries - that have made it clear they want to erect an anti-religious dictatorship in Pakistan and persecute Muslims, that would be comparable).
    You on the other hand, as I see it, would like to outlaw certain anti-religious statements, presumably on the basis that they could provoke divine anger if left unpunished, or turn people away from what you regard as divinely revealed truth. Of course that position makes a lot of sense if one accepts the claims and teachings of Islam, but it's not really convincing to anybody else.

    You are correct that this is not the same – not in application or implementation any way. But in principle you are willing to advocate steps to interdict any threat to your socio-political order of liberal secularism – you cannot escape Popper’s Paradox. You are willing to take steps A, B and C once a threat has arisen, we are willing to take steps A, B and C to ensure no threat arises in the first place.

    That is a strategic difference, not a principled one. To illustrate the difference, consider the two examples:

    1) “We will not target the enemy’s women and children as long as they commit to also not targeting our women and children.” This is a strategic position.
    2) “We will not target the enemy’s women and children even if they target our women and children because it is immoral.” This is a principled position.

    Now we can discuss which is a wiser position to take; 1) set consistent ground rules from the get go to ensure stability or 2) try to take mitigation steps at the cusp of a civil war.

    Of course that position makes a lot of sense if one accepts the claims and teachings of Islam, but it’s not really convincing to anybody else.

    One must realize that taking a position that secular-liberalism must be defended from threats by implementing policies that negate its own foundational principles is dogmatic – it simply is not self-evident that such a paradoxical framework represents an objective truth.

    Peace.

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  128. Mikel says:
    @Talha
    Hey Mikel,

    I thought that I had managed to p*ss you off this time.
     
    If one is well grounded and confident in their tradition, one does not get easily triggered.

    what I truthfully and honestly believe
     
    I didn't think you were being insincere. When in a Muslim land, try to manage to present it in a more respectful manner. When you meet God, He will tell you what He honestly thinks of your opinion.
    "O mankind - Indeed you are ever toiling on towards your Lord - laboriously - and you shalt meet Him." (84:6)

    This is easily explained by endogenous or externally induced alterations of the mind
     
    Sure - you are a materialist - you must necessarily arrive to either this conclusion or that he was lying. Rational conclusions both. Another quite rational conclusion is that he was indeed communicated to by the Divine.

    Mohammed had to resort to it because even in those superstitious times, most of his countrymen would not take him seriously.
     
    No - the Makkans started the hostilities. They lost. They wrote the history. And their history explains that they tried to shut him down violently from the beginning. When he conquered their capital city he granted them amnesty and they converted en masse. The history of Islam is the self-disclosure of the history of the Makkan people including this most important civil war. If you want to contest it, find an external source that records what happened - good luck.

    I very much doubt that it would adopt a moderate form.
     
    You are offering a whole lot of opinion. From what I've seen from converts, they do not tend toward extremism, many go traditional and plenty goSufi. As Prof. David Cook (who is an expert on jihad and global terrorism stated); "Well over 90 percent of converts are going to the Sufis, rather than the Salafis."
    https://youtu.be/2VQ9AvJB_k4?t=53m15s

    They just don't make the news because they don't act like crazed violent freaks.

    That’s silly, it doesn’t make any logical sense so I cannot accept your premise.
     
    You don't have to - that's why you are not Muslim. As Imam Ghazali (ra) stated; claiming something doesn’t make sense to one is not an argument – the proposition may well be ontologically correct and the person is simply unable to process the premise.

    Free will is a package deal - human beings will manifest abusing the privilege. That is how the iniquitous and the righteous will be distinguished - this world is a testing ground. The fact that humans are faulty creatures has wisdom behind it, God intends to manifest His forgiveness and willingness to accept repentance:
    "By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you did not sin God would replace you with people who would sin so they would seek the forgiveness of God and He would forgive them." - reported in Muslim

    we are clearly not talking about a benign, merciful being at all

     

    He's certainly Merciful. I mean look what He is letting you get away with. There are people making millions writings books about how horrible and silly the idea of God is. Making documentaries, earning thousands at speaking engagements, etc. He still feeds them and allows them to be cared for in this world, let's them live to a ripe old age - what incredible forbearance! But He reserves the right to deal with them with justice rather than mercy in the next world. If by benign, you mean you want to be able to pee in His direction and Him just take it and back down...well, that's not even a respectable reaction coming from a human much less the One Who controls the dominion of everything:
    "Does man not see that it is We Who created him from a sperm-drop? Yet behold, he (stands forth) as an open adversary!" (36:77)

    You can explain how silly and illogical you thought this all was when you stand before Him.

    Peace.

    Come on Talha. Your life may all revolve around your religion, like that of so many Muslims I have met, but you are an intelligent guy. Surely you are capable of understanding that a god that reserves cruel retribution in the after-life for those who don’t manage to believe in him is not a merciful being.

    Perhaps you have not really thought much about the concept of eternal torment. Have you ever endured 10 minutes of torture? Half an hour? Well that’s nothing. We are talking (or rather the Coran is talking) about experiencing that horrible sensation forever. There will be humans who were nice people and never did much of anything wrong to anyone. However, they had the bad luck of being born in a time and place where their intellect would not allow them to believe in Allah. The Coran makes it clear that such a rejection will condemn them to eternal torment. You can’t seriously maintain that such a revengeful god is merciful. I personally do not wish such a fate to anyone at all, not even to animals. Let alone for the mere sin of not believing in me.

    You can explain how silly and illogical you thought this all was when you stand before Him.

    If I ever meet Allah I will be so horrified that I doubt I will be able to explain myself with any degree of coherence. Remember what’s awaiting me if, as is more than likely, I don’t manage to make my case. But be careful Talha. If I find some degree of composure, I might request your presence as a witness. Since you promised me in a previous thread that you wish me no bad, you would argue against putting me under eternal torment, wouldn’t you?

    Best regards,

    Mikel

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Mikel,

    a god that reserves cruel retribution in the after-life for those who don’t manage to believe in him is not a merciful being
     
    He is quite Merciful - one can spend decades of their life completely trashing His name, ridiculing Him and causing others to disbelieve in Him (and even making a living out of it) and yet...it takes one moment to repent and be forgiven for all past transgressions and be considered among His friends. You won't find that magnanimity elsewhere.

    However, they had the bad luck of being born in a time and place where their intellect would not allow them to believe in Allah.
     
    I don't buy this. This is one's ego talking. The choice is yours - do not blame anyone else or your environment or, or...sorry, this sense of entitlement doesn't carry much water (any more than when I hear some Black people blame "Da Man" for their own poor choices). Plenty of people in this day and age can figure it out - I had dinner with two intelligent White converts this evening. You can't have your cake and eat it too - own your responsibility in the matter.

    forever
     
    Quite so - one is recompensed for the summation of their life and what they intended to do with it. One person, had he been given a life of thousands of years would remain in servitude and obedience for all those years and even more - thus he is rewarded accordingly. Another has no intention to have anything to do with God (and goes so far as to openly rebel against Him) whether he was given a life of thousands of years or beyond - thus he is recompensed accordingly. Of course, He runs the show, so if He wanted to forgive anybody (even avowed enemies), who is going to get in His way?

    If you want to take that chance - hey, it's your afterlife.

    Since you promised me in a previous thread that you wish me no bad, you would argue against putting me under eternal torment, wouldn’t you?
     
    I certainly don't want anything bad to happen to you in this world or the next - but I'm simply a human being, I have to follow the rules, I don't make them. And sure, I can plead your case - assuming I'm not worried to death about my own situation and need someone to plead on my behalf. But it's His call, whether He accepts advocacy on anyone's behalf by anyone else:
    "On that Day, no intercession shall avail, except the one from whom God, the Most Gracious has given permission and whose word is acceptable to Him." (20:109)

    He has made it clear He is completely in control. The bigger question is simply this, have you asked Him to protect you from His punishment? He accepts the petitions of His servants and His door is always open - people close it upon themselves:
    "O Allah, I seek refuge with Your pleasure from Your anger. I seek refuge in Your forgiveness from Your punishment. I seek refuge in You from You. I cannot enumerate Your praise, You are as You have praised Yourself." - supplication reported in Abu Dawud

    Peace.
    , @Talha
    (sigh) I'm realizing that I am - yet again - caught up in some kind of a theological discussion dealing with lots of points about beliefs and what not. If it's all the same, I'd like to end it here on the subject of salvation, afterlife, etc. These discussions are rarely fruitful honestly - far too much subjectivity involved and lack of standards that can be agreed upon to even imagine the possibility of reaching something close to an agreement.
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  129. AP says:
    @Talha
    Hey Hector,

    I also appreciate your honest and straightforward defense of your faith on a comment board where most commenters (myself included) are, well, quite hostile to what you believe.
     
    No problem - I don't get triggered by being challenged. And as another Muslim brother (who is observing the thread mentioned), G_R is being pretty fair and civil about how he is conversing so I welcome that. I'm trying to present some points of view and considerations people may not have thought about before. We can disagree, it's all good.

    If I understand you correctly, saying something like “Monotheism is wrong” or “God became incarnate as a Man” or “Muhammed was deluded by the devil” are protected as legitimate expressions of religious viewpoints, but e.g. portraying Muhammed as a pig are not?
     
    Exactly, this is what I am getting at and I have presented documented rulings from as far back as 9th century through the the current era to show there is definitely a degree of allowance.

    Also, what do you think of blasphemy laws in countries where Muslims are a small minority?
     
    Why not if the majority go along with it? Heck, we would be happy if the West met us half way and left the Prophet (pbuh) open to ridicule but prohibited it for the Son of Mary, Moses, Abraham, etc. (pbut). We're sick of seeing their names denigrated also.

    There is a metaphysical aspect to this also; if God has deemed it time that the insult of men like the Son of Mary (pbuh) desist in the West (as in previous centuries) and non-Muslims will not make it happen, He can simply bring about a people that will make sure it does.

    A God that isn’t perfectly merciful is in my opinion not a perfect Being, and not one worthy of worship.
     
    Interesting - so there is a complete negation of the attribute of Divine Justice? Do you mean to say that if I don't believe in a Trinitarian God or that Jesus (pbuh) died for my sins (or Mikel here openly mocks and insults Him) - there are zero negative consequences in the afterlife? If so, that works out great and I have both bases covered.

    Now if that is not the case...well, we are back to a God that will punish the iniquitous according to His parameters - just different ones in your understanding.

    I remember you mentioning your were heterodox; how widely accepted is your view among normative Christian doctrine? You understand or course, if a Dawoodi Bohra tried to claim he spoke for Islam, you'd have your doubts.

    Peace.

    Interesting – so there is a complete negation of the attribute of Divine Justice? Do you mean to say that if I don’t believe in a Trinitarian God or that Jesus (pbuh) died for my sins (or Mikel here openly mocks and insults Him) – there are zero negative consequences in the afterlife?

    I am not a Christian theologian but my (limited) understanding is that the consequences for sins are self-inflicted and not “God’s work.” The process of sinning makes the sinner distant from God in incapable of union with Him here and in the afterlife; it’s the sinner’s own doing. Some priest speculated that the sinner himself transforms the experience of God’s eternal warmth and light into eternal and intolerable fire, it isn’t something thrown by God onto the sinner.

    An allegorical treatment of this is the charming C.S. Lewis short story:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Divorce

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey AP,

    it’s the sinner’s own doing
     
    Sure, no problems here - what you have described is very close to what I have been taught:
    "And whatever affliction befalls you, it is on account of what your hands have wrought, and (yet) He pardons much." (42:30)

    Peace.
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  130. AP says:
    @German_reader

    I think a lot of Europeans would much prefer immigration by blue eyed Muslim immigrants from the Caucasus or the Balkans rather than from Christian Filipinos or Christian Africans.
     
    I'm not sure about that at all tbh. Ok, in regards to Bosnians maybe, provided they're moderate or non-observant in their religion, like people used to be there (which sadly seems to be changing due to influence from Saudi-Arabia and similarly regressive countries). But would I rather take in an equivalent number of Chechens or of Catholic Filipinos as immigrants? I'd certainly go with the Filipinos. At least they're unlikely to chop or blow me up under cries of "Allahu akbar". At worst they'll bolster the power of the Catholic church, but that's something we're familiar with; they won't be the outpost of a different civilization that has been historically hostile towards Europe.
    Race/ethnicity obviously matters a lot, and I'm not in favour of mass immigration in general, but Islam adds a whole additional dimension of potential conflict.

    . But would I rather take in an equivalent number of Chechens or of Catholic Filipinos as immigrants? I’d certainly go with the Filipinos. At least they’re unlikely to chop or blow me up under cries of “Allahu akbar”. At worst they’ll bolster the power of the Catholic church, but that’s something we’re familiar with;

    You may not have many Filipinos in Germany; there are many on the USA. They are rather ideal immigrants: very pleasant and friendly, hard-working, and Christian (so, familiar). And though they tend not to be as educated as, say, upper caste Hindus or Chinese, they are generally a step above mere laborers; there may be few Filipino physicians, but many Filipino nurses. Intermarriage rates seem to be high.

    There is something to be said about preserving one’s native culture, but if you are going to have immigrants to places with native European cultures,, I can’t think of any non-Europeans who would be better than Filipinos.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Yes, that's what I expected...the number of Filipinos in Germany isn't that high (only a few tens of thousands), but they seem generally well-integrated; often it's Filipino women married to German men. I'm not in favour of large-scale immigration in general, but clearly some groups are much less troublesome than others.
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  131. Talha says:
    @Mikel
    Come on Talha. Your life may all revolve around your religion, like that of so many Muslims I have met, but you are an intelligent guy. Surely you are capable of understanding that a god that reserves cruel retribution in the after-life for those who don't manage to believe in him is not a merciful being.

    Perhaps you have not really thought much about the concept of eternal torment. Have you ever endured 10 minutes of torture? Half an hour? Well that's nothing. We are talking (or rather the Coran is talking) about experiencing that horrible sensation forever. There will be humans who were nice people and never did much of anything wrong to anyone. However, they had the bad luck of being born in a time and place where their intellect would not allow them to believe in Allah. The Coran makes it clear that such a rejection will condemn them to eternal torment. You can't seriously maintain that such a revengeful god is merciful. I personally do not wish such a fate to anyone at all, not even to animals. Let alone for the mere sin of not believing in me.

    You can explain how silly and illogical you thought this all was when you stand before Him.

     

    If I ever meet Allah I will be so horrified that I doubt I will be able to explain myself with any degree of coherence. Remember what's awaiting me if, as is more than likely, I don't manage to make my case. But be careful Talha. If I find some degree of composure, I might request your presence as a witness. Since you promised me in a previous thread that you wish me no bad, you would argue against putting me under eternal torment, wouldn't you?

    Best regards,

    Mikel

    Hey Mikel,

    a god that reserves cruel retribution in the after-life for those who don’t manage to believe in him is not a merciful being

    He is quite Merciful – one can spend decades of their life completely trashing His name, ridiculing Him and causing others to disbelieve in Him (and even making a living out of it) and yet…it takes one moment to repent and be forgiven for all past transgressions and be considered among His friends. You won’t find that magnanimity elsewhere.

    However, they had the bad luck of being born in a time and place where their intellect would not allow them to believe in Allah.

    I don’t buy this. This is one’s ego talking. The choice is yours – do not blame anyone else or your environment or, or…sorry, this sense of entitlement doesn’t carry much water (any more than when I hear some Black people blame “Da Man” for their own poor choices). Plenty of people in this day and age can figure it out – I had dinner with two intelligent White converts this evening. You can’t have your cake and eat it too – own your responsibility in the matter.

    forever

    Quite so – one is recompensed for the summation of their life and what they intended to do with it. One person, had he been given a life of thousands of years would remain in servitude and obedience for all those years and even more – thus he is rewarded accordingly. Another has no intention to have anything to do with God (and goes so far as to openly rebel against Him) whether he was given a life of thousands of years or beyond – thus he is recompensed accordingly. Of course, He runs the show, so if He wanted to forgive anybody (even avowed enemies), who is going to get in His way?

    If you want to take that chance – hey, it’s your afterlife.

    Since you promised me in a previous thread that you wish me no bad, you would argue against putting me under eternal torment, wouldn’t you?

    I certainly don’t want anything bad to happen to you in this world or the next – but I’m simply a human being, I have to follow the rules, I don’t make them. And sure, I can plead your case – assuming I’m not worried to death about my own situation and need someone to plead on my behalf. But it’s His call, whether He accepts advocacy on anyone’s behalf by anyone else:
    “On that Day, no intercession shall avail, except the one from whom God, the Most Gracious has given permission and whose word is acceptable to Him.” (20:109)

    He has made it clear He is completely in control. The bigger question is simply this, have you asked Him to protect you from His punishment? He accepts the petitions of His servants and His door is always open – people close it upon themselves:
    “O Allah, I seek refuge with Your pleasure from Your anger. I seek refuge in Your forgiveness from Your punishment. I seek refuge in You from You. I cannot enumerate Your praise, You are as You have praised Yourself.” – supplication reported in Abu Dawud

    Peace.

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  132. Talha says:
    @AP

    Interesting – so there is a complete negation of the attribute of Divine Justice? Do you mean to say that if I don’t believe in a Trinitarian God or that Jesus (pbuh) died for my sins (or Mikel here openly mocks and insults Him) – there are zero negative consequences in the afterlife?
     
    I am not a Christian theologian but my (limited) understanding is that the consequences for sins are self-inflicted and not "God's work." The process of sinning makes the sinner distant from God in incapable of union with Him here and in the afterlife; it's the sinner's own doing. Some priest speculated that the sinner himself transforms the experience of God's eternal warmth and light into eternal and intolerable fire, it isn't something thrown by God onto the sinner.

    An allegorical treatment of this is the charming C.S. Lewis short story:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Divorce

    Hey AP,

    it’s the sinner’s own doing

    Sure, no problems here – what you have described is very close to what I have been taught:
    “And whatever affliction befalls you, it is on account of what your hands have wrought, and (yet) He pardons much.” (42:30)

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bliss
    “And whatever affliction befalls you, it is on account of what your hands have wrought” (42:30)

    Since the Koran doesn’t teach reincarnation, what have the tiny hands of patently innocent children wrought to justify the afflictions they suffer?

    And what conceivable crime can any human commit to justify the affliction of eternal torture in Hell?

    And why does anyone deserve to be afflicted at all when it is Allah himself who leads them astray?
    “Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills.” (Koran 35:8)

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  133. Talha says:
    @Mikel
    Come on Talha. Your life may all revolve around your religion, like that of so many Muslims I have met, but you are an intelligent guy. Surely you are capable of understanding that a god that reserves cruel retribution in the after-life for those who don't manage to believe in him is not a merciful being.

    Perhaps you have not really thought much about the concept of eternal torment. Have you ever endured 10 minutes of torture? Half an hour? Well that's nothing. We are talking (or rather the Coran is talking) about experiencing that horrible sensation forever. There will be humans who were nice people and never did much of anything wrong to anyone. However, they had the bad luck of being born in a time and place where their intellect would not allow them to believe in Allah. The Coran makes it clear that such a rejection will condemn them to eternal torment. You can't seriously maintain that such a revengeful god is merciful. I personally do not wish such a fate to anyone at all, not even to animals. Let alone for the mere sin of not believing in me.

    You can explain how silly and illogical you thought this all was when you stand before Him.

     

    If I ever meet Allah I will be so horrified that I doubt I will be able to explain myself with any degree of coherence. Remember what's awaiting me if, as is more than likely, I don't manage to make my case. But be careful Talha. If I find some degree of composure, I might request your presence as a witness. Since you promised me in a previous thread that you wish me no bad, you would argue against putting me under eternal torment, wouldn't you?

    Best regards,

    Mikel

    (sigh) I’m realizing that I am – yet again – caught up in some kind of a theological discussion dealing with lots of points about beliefs and what not. If it’s all the same, I’d like to end it here on the subject of salvation, afterlife, etc. These discussions are rarely fruitful honestly – far too much subjectivity involved and lack of standards that can be agreed upon to even imagine the possibility of reaching something close to an agreement.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikel

    I’d like to end it here
     
    I understand Talha. We all have better things to do than debating online strangers, especially on a long weekend. Although admittedly, it sometimes becomes an addictive passtime. If the Coran had been written in the internet era, I suspect that it would have included some passages regulating or prohibiting this activity.

    In any case, let me explain that, as far as I'm concerned, we are not having a theological debate. We are having a simple common sense debate where you are clearly failing to show that the god you believe in is good and merciful.

    That people who trash him get to live long lives is not a sign of his mercifulness. Your deep religious beliefs are playing tricks with you here again. Longevity is determined by genetic predisposition and lifestyle choices. There is zero emprirical evidence that supernatural beings play any role at all. But most of us atheists spend very little time trashing deities, believe me. Nothing is farther away from my mind that trying to convince, for example, my 80 year old Catholic mother that there is nothing awaiting her in the after-life. That would be so cruel and pointless. Unfortunately, it is you Muslims who predicate a horrible after-life for people who don't follow your beliefs.

    To summarize, a merciful god would be one who A) did not create human beings with a natural predisposition to comit acts that he then punishes them for comiting with a cruelty that is difficult to even imagine (eternal torment) and B) understands that huge amounts of people will not be able to process or believe in his message, especially considering that he chooses to deliver it only to selcted individual in dark caves. That he punishes these people as well only compounds his cruelty.

    I would never be having this conversation with a believer in a god that meets the above criteria.

    Finally, I will not defend myself from your accusation of my ego playing some role in my religious beliefes or lack thereof. That may be true, to some extent. But it may be useful for you to understand that your asking people like me here in the West that they convert to your religion involves at least two tremendous hurdles: 1) Leaving aside decades of analytical and evidence-based, scientific education and 2) Competing against many other religions that, a priori, present as much credibility as yours, with the advantage that none of their followers take to the streets to massacre us. No egos at play there.

    Have a nice weekend,

    Mikel
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  134. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    So we agree in principle; it is not immoral to pen up a tiger, we are simply disagreeing on when it is proper to do so - when it is still cute and cuddly or when it can kill and eat a bison.

    Most Western women aren’t interested in Muslim men at all
     
    Sure, I'll agree with this.

    in fact often find them rather repellent with their patriarchical views
     
    Prof. Jordan Petersen has a different take:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED8r5jGijV0

    Peace.

    I would be more impressed with the Professor’s take if his name was Jordana Petersdottr.

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  135. @AP

    . But would I rather take in an equivalent number of Chechens or of Catholic Filipinos as immigrants? I’d certainly go with the Filipinos. At least they’re unlikely to chop or blow me up under cries of “Allahu akbar”. At worst they’ll bolster the power of the Catholic church, but that’s something we’re familiar with;
     
    You may not have many Filipinos in Germany; there are many on the USA. They are rather ideal immigrants: very pleasant and friendly, hard-working, and Christian (so, familiar). And though they tend not to be as educated as, say, upper caste Hindus or Chinese, they are generally a step above mere laborers; there may be few Filipino physicians, but many Filipino nurses. Intermarriage rates seem to be high.

    There is something to be said about preserving one's native culture, but if you are going to have immigrants to places with native European cultures,, I can't think of any non-Europeans who would be better than Filipinos.

    Yes, that’s what I expected…the number of Filipinos in Germany isn’t that high (only a few tens of thousands), but they seem generally well-integrated; often it’s Filipino women married to German men. I’m not in favour of large-scale immigration in general, but clearly some groups are much less troublesome than others.

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  136. Mikel says:
    @Talha
    (sigh) I'm realizing that I am - yet again - caught up in some kind of a theological discussion dealing with lots of points about beliefs and what not. If it's all the same, I'd like to end it here on the subject of salvation, afterlife, etc. These discussions are rarely fruitful honestly - far too much subjectivity involved and lack of standards that can be agreed upon to even imagine the possibility of reaching something close to an agreement.

    I’d like to end it here

    I understand Talha. We all have better things to do than debating online strangers, especially on a long weekend. Although admittedly, it sometimes becomes an addictive passtime. If the Coran had been written in the internet era, I suspect that it would have included some passages regulating or prohibiting this activity.

    In any case, let me explain that, as far as I’m concerned, we are not having a theological debate. We are having a simple common sense debate where you are clearly failing to show that the god you believe in is good and merciful.

    That people who trash him get to live long lives is not a sign of his mercifulness. Your deep religious beliefs are playing tricks with you here again. Longevity is determined by genetic predisposition and lifestyle choices. There is zero emprirical evidence that supernatural beings play any role at all. But most of us atheists spend very little time trashing deities, believe me. Nothing is farther away from my mind that trying to convince, for example, my 80 year old Catholic mother that there is nothing awaiting her in the after-life. That would be so cruel and pointless. Unfortunately, it is you Muslims who predicate a horrible after-life for people who don’t follow your beliefs.

    To summarize, a merciful god would be one who A) did not create human beings with a natural predisposition to comit acts that he then punishes them for comiting with a cruelty that is difficult to even imagine (eternal torment) and B) understands that huge amounts of people will not be able to process or believe in his message, especially considering that he chooses to deliver it only to selcted individual in dark caves. That he punishes these people as well only compounds his cruelty.

    I would never be having this conversation with a believer in a god that meets the above criteria.

    Finally, I will not defend myself from your accusation of my ego playing some role in my religious beliefes or lack thereof. That may be true, to some extent. But it may be useful for you to understand that your asking people like me here in the West that they convert to your religion involves at least two tremendous hurdles: 1) Leaving aside decades of analytical and evidence-based, scientific education and 2) Competing against many other religions that, a priori, present as much credibility as yours, with the advantage that none of their followers take to the streets to massacre us. No egos at play there.

    Have a nice weekend,

    Mikel

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  137. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Talha
    The "Muslim" God dislikes that His emissary, the Son of Mary (pbuh), is being denigrated in public view. I brought him up because he is a common honorific figure between us and Christians and his honor was untouchable at one time in the West.

    Us denying his divinity can't really be compared to crucifix dildos, can it?

    Peace.

    But you also deny the crucifixion, so can it really be an insult?

    (only joking, of course)

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    But you also deny the crucifixion
     
    No we don't...just not of him. ;)
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  138. Talha says:
    @Anon
    But you also deny the crucifixion, so can it really be an insult?

    (only joking, of course)

    But you also deny the crucifixion

    No we don’t…just not of him. ;)

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  139. Bliss says:
    @Talha
    Hey AP,

    it’s the sinner’s own doing
     
    Sure, no problems here - what you have described is very close to what I have been taught:
    "And whatever affliction befalls you, it is on account of what your hands have wrought, and (yet) He pardons much." (42:30)

    Peace.

    “And whatever affliction befalls you, it is on account of what your hands have wrought” (42:30)

    Since the Koran doesn’t teach reincarnation, what have the tiny hands of patently innocent children wrought to justify the afflictions they suffer?

    And what conceivable crime can any human commit to justify the affliction of eternal torture in Hell?

    And why does anyone deserve to be afflicted at all when it is Allah himself who leads them astray?
    “Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills.” (Koran 35:8)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Well, this thread is nearing expiry so...once more into the fray - but I doubt I'll go another round so don't bother responding if you feel entitled to another answer.

    what have the tiny hands of patently innocent children wrought to justify the afflictions they suffer?
     
    Nothing. There is a difference between an affliction and a trial. And in fact, what is happening to a child might even be a trial for their parents; will they be patient in their loss, will they be content with God's decree? And others; what are you willing to sacrifice to help the innocent? As for the child - they of course, will be recompensed with Paradise because children are not accountable for their deeds. They will have suffered some time on Earth, yes, but they will have been granted a recompense beyond imagining and their suffering will not even be a memory:
    "And then (on the Day of Judgement) that person from amongst the persons of the world be brought who had led the most miserable life (in the world) - who is from the (future) dwellers of Paradise. And he would be made to dip once in Paradise and it would be asked of him, 'O, son of Adam, did you ever face any hardship? Or had any distress fallen to your lot?' And he would say: 'By Allah, no my Lord, never did I face any hardship or experience any distress.'" - reported in Muslim

    The interesting thing is, if I had a child that was suffering and dying from, say, leukemia, I would tell them this and comfort them and let them know what I truly believe; they will be in Paradise once all of this is over and they will have a gracious Lord that will grant them whatever they desire and they will never taste death again - and I will do my best to live my life so I can meet them there. What does the materialist tell their child in a similar situation? Do they tell them what they truly believe? "My son, there is nothing after all this suffering. You will die. And everything you went through will be for nothing. But cheer up, you won't just be alone, there is an empty void of non-existence waiting for you - you won't even feel the worms drilling through your corpse." Or do they borrow from our "myths"?

    And what conceivable crime can any human commit to justify the affliction of eternal torture in Hell?
     
    Unbelief and ingratitude apparently. But it's actually very easy to get out of that situation; you actually don't even have to lift a finger. Just a few words - you're good to go. Whew - isn't that fairly simple?

    “Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills.”
     
    The more accurate translation is, "Verily Allah leaves astray whom He wills..." - things get lost in translation obviously. But hey, there is your defense strategy on the Day of Judgement. Sure it didn't work for Shaytan...
    "He said, 'Lord, because you have caused me to go astray, I will certainly make (evil) fair-seeming to them on earth and mislead all of them.'" (15:39)

    ...but you're a lot smarter than that guy. And if the excuse is not accepted and angels are ordered to drag you and hurl you into Hell, just cross your arms and stamp your feet real hard and refuse to go. Pfffshshshsh, I mean, what's He going to do?

    Peace.
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  140. Bliss says:
    @TheJester
    Carrol Quigley, in his seminal book, "Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time," discusses why the Western European model of industrialization and urbanization worked for Western countries .... but for no other culture since.

    According to Quigley, a successful industrial/urban revolution presupposes an earlier agricultural revolution to feed the burgeoning urban masses. However, the Western industrial revolution was the only one that did.

    By jumping the time line, the others immediately ran into and will continue to run into food security issues, requiring the urban centers to loot the countryside of its crops and livestock to ward off starvation. Does the Ukranian Holodomor ring a bell? Quigley points to similar outcomes in places as remote as Argentina.

    So, what caused the population explosions in the Third World in the first place? Western science and medicine.

    So, what will drive the exploding masses from Pakistan and sub-Saharan Africa to the Western industrial nations? Starvation!

    Food security issues are basically resolved in Western industrial countries. Indeed, Western industrial societies are in the midst of a second agricultural revolution. In the Netherlands, for example, land area no longer limits agricultural production. The National Geographic (September 2017, edition) has a feature article on factory farms in the country.

    "The tiny Netherlands has become an agricultural powerhouse -- the second largest global exporter of good by dollar value after the United States -- with only a fraction of the land available ... by using the world's most efficient agricultural technologies."
     
    In the Netherlands, food and livestock are produced in multistory factories rather than traditional farms. Crops are grown around the clock in climate controlled environments. In some cases, hydroponics replaces soil. As a measure of productivity, each indoor acre yields as much lettuce as ten outdoor acres. As a measure of yields per square mile, the Netherlands has the world's highest productivity for chilies, green peppers, and cucumbers. It is No. 2 for pears, N0. 5 for carrots, and No. 6 for potatoes and onions ... using a fraction of the water and chemicals required by traditional methods.

    It is incumbent on countries trying to industrialize or otherwise experiencing a demographic explosion to learn how to feed their burgeoning populations. This is the first order of business. It only exacerbates the problems of excess populations in low tech countries by (1) the West feeding and otherwise subsidizing the excess populations via foreign aid, or (2) trying to take in millions of people from pre-industrial societies as permanent welfare classes, who will, by the way, continue to reproduce beyond their Malthusian Limits until they destroy their Western hosts.

    The West subsidizing premature urbanization in pre-industrial countries is a major cause of their demographic explosions. Unless these subsidies are addressed, they will also precipitate the suicide of Western countries and their industrial civilization.

    The tiny Netherlands has become an agricultural powerhouse — the second largest global exporter of good by dollar value after the United States — with only a fraction of the land available … by using the world’s most efficient agricultural technologies.

    What a great role model for all nations that are not self-sufficient in food.

    Here’s more feel good news:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40935771

    Nigerian Oshi Agabi has unveiled a computer based not on silicon but on mice neurons at the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania.

    Eventually the modem-sized device – dubbed Koniku Kore – could provide the brain for future robots.

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  141. Talha says:
    @Bliss
    “And whatever affliction befalls you, it is on account of what your hands have wrought” (42:30)

    Since the Koran doesn’t teach reincarnation, what have the tiny hands of patently innocent children wrought to justify the afflictions they suffer?

    And what conceivable crime can any human commit to justify the affliction of eternal torture in Hell?

    And why does anyone deserve to be afflicted at all when it is Allah himself who leads them astray?
    “Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills.” (Koran 35:8)

    Well, this thread is nearing expiry so…once more into the fray – but I doubt I’ll go another round so don’t bother responding if you feel entitled to another answer.

    what have the tiny hands of patently innocent children wrought to justify the afflictions they suffer?

    Nothing. There is a difference between an affliction and a trial. And in fact, what is happening to a child might even be a trial for their parents; will they be patient in their loss, will they be content with God’s decree? And others; what are you willing to sacrifice to help the innocent? As for the child – they of course, will be recompensed with Paradise because children are not accountable for their deeds. They will have suffered some time on Earth, yes, but they will have been granted a recompense beyond imagining and their suffering will not even be a memory:
    “And then (on the Day of Judgement) that person from amongst the persons of the world be brought who had led the most miserable life (in the world) – who is from the (future) dwellers of Paradise. And he would be made to dip once in Paradise and it would be asked of him, ‘O, son of Adam, did you ever face any hardship? Or had any distress fallen to your lot?’ And he would say: ‘By Allah, no my Lord, never did I face any hardship or experience any distress.’” – reported in Muslim

    The interesting thing is, if I had a child that was suffering and dying from, say, leukemia, I would tell them this and comfort them and let them know what I truly believe; they will be in Paradise once all of this is over and they will have a gracious Lord that will grant them whatever they desire and they will never taste death again – and I will do my best to live my life so I can meet them there. What does the materialist tell their child in a similar situation? Do they tell them what they truly believe? “My son, there is nothing after all this suffering. You will die. And everything you went through will be for nothing. But cheer up, you won’t just be alone, there is an empty void of non-existence waiting for you – you won’t even feel the worms drilling through your corpse.” Or do they borrow from our “myths”?

    And what conceivable crime can any human commit to justify the affliction of eternal torture in Hell?

    Unbelief and ingratitude apparently. But it’s actually very easy to get out of that situation; you actually don’t even have to lift a finger. Just a few words – you’re good to go. Whew – isn’t that fairly simple?

    “Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills.”

    The more accurate translation is, “Verily Allah leaves astray whom He wills…” – things get lost in translation obviously. But hey, there is your defense strategy on the Day of Judgement. Sure it didn’t work for Shaytan…
    “He said, ‘Lord, because you have caused me to go astray, I will certainly make (evil) fair-seeming to them on earth and mislead all of them.’” (15:39)

    …but you’re a lot smarter than that guy. And if the excuse is not accepted and angels are ordered to drag you and hurl you into Hell, just cross your arms and stamp your feet real hard and refuse to go. Pfffshshshsh, I mean, what’s He going to do?

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Bliss

    what is happening to a child might even be a trial for their parents
     
    Might even be? Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters? How for example is a child afflicted with torture by it’s own parents a “trial” for them?

    I would tell them this and comfort them and let them know what I truly believe; they will be in Paradise once all of this is over and they will have a gracious Lord that will grant them whatever they desire
     
    You will tell them they will be fornicating with 72 virgins for all eternity? Is that even something a child can understand much less desire?

    By the way, how come you all are content with the promise of just 72 virgins? It would get boring after say a million years if not much earlier. And you would still be stuck with them for eternity...


    Unbelief and ingratitude apparently
     
    Apparently? What happened to your certainty? Unbelief in the contradictory words of a thoroughly unholy man (robber, murderer, pedophile, rapist etc) justifies eternal torture? You are truly bankrupt both morally and rationally.

    “The more accurate translation is, “Verily Allah leaves astray whom He wills…””

    It is still Allah’s will. So the question remains: how does Allah justify torturing forever those whom he willed not to believe?


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  142. Lin says:
    @Ali Choudhury
    Previously the population was being estimated at being between 220 to 235m, so the number here is lower than expected. The Sindhis are a little pissed since they reckon refugees from Afghanistan are inflating the population counts of Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - giving them a larger proportion of fiscal transfers. Said immigrants then come over to Karachi, Sindh's capital and the country's largest city and bring their colourful cultural folkways with them. Some of their politicians have called for the 2 5m Afghan refugees (now entering their second generation here) to be immediately deported.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1319202

    In any case water stress is going to be a huge issue affecting not just Pakistan but Central Asian, Afghanistan, India, China and Bangladesh. China holds the most powerful position here due to it's control of Tibet which holds 70% of the region's water resources and is upstream from India. It has built close to 90,000 dams there in order to help divert massive amounts of water to parched northern China. That is bad for Indian water security and also for Bangladesh which gets 90% of its water via India.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/china-is-waging-a-water-war-on-india/story-6jqgabEffcatPFzJ6fQ6eJ.html

    “it’s control of Tibet which holds 70% of the region’s water resources and is upstream from India. It has built close to 90,000 dams there in order to help divert massive amounts of water to parched northern China. That is bad for Indian water ”

    That’s nonsense. Though most of the rivers in India have upstreams in Chinese Tibet, much of the river water there ,in the order of 90-95%, come from run-off (rain) inside India. Its anti-China propaganda also attempt to migitate the blame on indian incompetence in water preservation/management. If they can’t blame the monsoon or hindu rain god, they just blame China for their incompetence.

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  143. Bliss says:
    @Talha
    Well, this thread is nearing expiry so...once more into the fray - but I doubt I'll go another round so don't bother responding if you feel entitled to another answer.

    what have the tiny hands of patently innocent children wrought to justify the afflictions they suffer?
     
    Nothing. There is a difference between an affliction and a trial. And in fact, what is happening to a child might even be a trial for their parents; will they be patient in their loss, will they be content with God's decree? And others; what are you willing to sacrifice to help the innocent? As for the child - they of course, will be recompensed with Paradise because children are not accountable for their deeds. They will have suffered some time on Earth, yes, but they will have been granted a recompense beyond imagining and their suffering will not even be a memory:
    "And then (on the Day of Judgement) that person from amongst the persons of the world be brought who had led the most miserable life (in the world) - who is from the (future) dwellers of Paradise. And he would be made to dip once in Paradise and it would be asked of him, 'O, son of Adam, did you ever face any hardship? Or had any distress fallen to your lot?' And he would say: 'By Allah, no my Lord, never did I face any hardship or experience any distress.'" - reported in Muslim

    The interesting thing is, if I had a child that was suffering and dying from, say, leukemia, I would tell them this and comfort them and let them know what I truly believe; they will be in Paradise once all of this is over and they will have a gracious Lord that will grant them whatever they desire and they will never taste death again - and I will do my best to live my life so I can meet them there. What does the materialist tell their child in a similar situation? Do they tell them what they truly believe? "My son, there is nothing after all this suffering. You will die. And everything you went through will be for nothing. But cheer up, you won't just be alone, there is an empty void of non-existence waiting for you - you won't even feel the worms drilling through your corpse." Or do they borrow from our "myths"?

    And what conceivable crime can any human commit to justify the affliction of eternal torture in Hell?
     
    Unbelief and ingratitude apparently. But it's actually very easy to get out of that situation; you actually don't even have to lift a finger. Just a few words - you're good to go. Whew - isn't that fairly simple?

    “Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills.”
     
    The more accurate translation is, "Verily Allah leaves astray whom He wills..." - things get lost in translation obviously. But hey, there is your defense strategy on the Day of Judgement. Sure it didn't work for Shaytan...
    "He said, 'Lord, because you have caused me to go astray, I will certainly make (evil) fair-seeming to them on earth and mislead all of them.'" (15:39)

    ...but you're a lot smarter than that guy. And if the excuse is not accepted and angels are ordered to drag you and hurl you into Hell, just cross your arms and stamp your feet real hard and refuse to go. Pfffshshshsh, I mean, what's He going to do?

    Peace.

    what is happening to a child might even be a trial for their parents

    Might even be? Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters? How for example is a child afflicted with torture by it’s own parents a “trial” for them?

    I would tell them this and comfort them and let them know what I truly believe; they will be in Paradise once all of this is over and they will have a gracious Lord that will grant them whatever they desire

    You will tell them they will be fornicating with 72 virgins for all eternity? Is that even something a child can understand much less desire?

    By the way, how come you all are content with the promise of just 72 virgins? It would get boring after say a million years if not much earlier. And you would still be stuck with them for eternity…

    Unbelief and ingratitude apparently

    Apparently? What happened to your certainty? Unbelief in the contradictory words of a thoroughly unholy man (robber, murderer, pedophile, rapist etc) justifies eternal torture? You are truly bankrupt both morally and rationally.

    “The more accurate translation is, “Verily Allah leaves astray whom He wills…””

    It is still Allah’s will. So the question remains: how does Allah justify torturing forever those whom he willed not to believe?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters?
     
    LOL! Translation: How dare you give an answer that challenges my presuppositions!

    How for example is a child afflicted with torture by it’s own parents a “trial” for them?
     
    It is a trial. That child had rights upon them and they had a sacred duty to uphold those rights - they violated those rights and responsibilities and will pay the consequences. Again, you come across a child dying from being abused and tortured by their parents - no chance of recovery; what do you tell them?
    "Cheer up kid, at least you won't be seeing them again. Well, actually you won't be seeing anybody ever again. You'll never know what it is to ride a horse, or fly a plane, or know what female companionship is like, or, or...because well, due to random circumstance, it really, really sucked to be you. But don't worry, your big payoff is coming up - a big black void! Yay! Just think of it like a rainbow all mashed together!"

    fornicating
     
    There is no fornicating. Fornication is a moral crime - which are defined by God. When He says; here are houris that I created to serve and provide you with enjoyment - no crime is being committed - and game is ON!

    It would get boring after say a million years if not much earlier.
     
    LOL! Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters?

    Hadith mentioning houris usually don't give a number, but 70 is a common number given. One can take that literally, but if one knows what the context of the culture of the Arabs was at that time, then one knows it was common to use 7 or its multiples (like 70 and 700) to mean; many or a large number. You are also making an assumption that life in Paradise follows a pattern of a linear experience like in this world; there is no indication that one day in Paradise will be just like the preceding one, nor one experience be felt the same as the last. Besides, how do you plan on keeping busy once you and all your consciousness stop existing - I heard that's really boring, but maybe you can make the best of it by not-imagining not-houris.

    Plus - all those pleasures pale in comparison to the Beatific Vision of God which is the ultimate experience and the ultimate payoff.


    You are truly bankrupt both morally and rationally.
     
    And this...is my defense strategy; my Lord, I was an idiot and a sinner, I bring to your door nothing by foulness and stupidity, my life was wasted - I only had hope in Your Mercy - I beg You, do not send your slave away empty-handed!

    So the question remains: how does Allah justify torturing forever those whom he willed not to believe?
     
    You're asking the wrong guy. Like I said, you'll meet Him. You can ask Him directly. Make sure you stamp your feet real hard and don't forget to point an accusatory finger and say something like "How dare you sir! How. Dare. You!". Make a big scene about it because your trial will be in the presence of all of humanity - you'll want to make sure all of us can witness what a tough guy you are. Add in stuff like "You can't make me!" Also mention that stuff about His Messenger (pbuh) being a "thoroughly unholy man" - that'll show Him! You go girl!

    "...Thus does Allah leave astray he who is a transgressor and a skeptic." (40:34)

    Peace.

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  144. Talha says:
    @Bliss

    what is happening to a child might even be a trial for their parents
     
    Might even be? Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters? How for example is a child afflicted with torture by it’s own parents a “trial” for them?

    I would tell them this and comfort them and let them know what I truly believe; they will be in Paradise once all of this is over and they will have a gracious Lord that will grant them whatever they desire
     
    You will tell them they will be fornicating with 72 virgins for all eternity? Is that even something a child can understand much less desire?

    By the way, how come you all are content with the promise of just 72 virgins? It would get boring after say a million years if not much earlier. And you would still be stuck with them for eternity...


    Unbelief and ingratitude apparently
     
    Apparently? What happened to your certainty? Unbelief in the contradictory words of a thoroughly unholy man (robber, murderer, pedophile, rapist etc) justifies eternal torture? You are truly bankrupt both morally and rationally.

    “The more accurate translation is, “Verily Allah leaves astray whom He wills…””

    It is still Allah’s will. So the question remains: how does Allah justify torturing forever those whom he willed not to believe?


    Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters?

    LOL! Translation: How dare you give an answer that challenges my presuppositions!

    How for example is a child afflicted with torture by it’s own parents a “trial” for them?

    It is a trial. That child had rights upon them and they had a sacred duty to uphold those rights – they violated those rights and responsibilities and will pay the consequences. Again, you come across a child dying from being abused and tortured by their parents – no chance of recovery; what do you tell them?
    “Cheer up kid, at least you won’t be seeing them again. Well, actually you won’t be seeing anybody ever again. You’ll never know what it is to ride a horse, or fly a plane, or know what female companionship is like, or, or…because well, due to random circumstance, it really, really sucked to be you. But don’t worry, your big payoff is coming up – a big black void! Yay! Just think of it like a rainbow all mashed together!”

    fornicating

    There is no fornicating. Fornication is a moral crime – which are defined by God. When He says; here are houris that I created to serve and provide you with enjoyment – no crime is being committed – and game is ON!

    It would get boring after say a million years if not much earlier.

    LOL! Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters?

    Hadith mentioning houris usually don’t give a number, but 70 is a common number given. One can take that literally, but if one knows what the context of the culture of the Arabs was at that time, then one knows it was common to use 7 or its multiples (like 70 and 700) to mean; many or a large number. You are also making an assumption that life in Paradise follows a pattern of a linear experience like in this world; there is no indication that one day in Paradise will be just like the preceding one, nor one experience be felt the same as the last. Besides, how do you plan on keeping busy once you and all your consciousness stop existing – I heard that’s really boring, but maybe you can make the best of it by not-imagining not-houris.

    Plus – all those pleasures pale in comparison to the Beatific Vision of God which is the ultimate experience and the ultimate payoff.

    You are truly bankrupt both morally and rationally.

    And this…is my defense strategy; my Lord, I was an idiot and a sinner, I bring to your door nothing by foulness and stupidity, my life was wasted – I only had hope in Your Mercy – I beg You, do not send your slave away empty-handed!

    So the question remains: how does Allah justify torturing forever those whom he willed not to believe?

    You’re asking the wrong guy. Like I said, you’ll meet Him. You can ask Him directly. Make sure you stamp your feet real hard and don’t forget to point an accusatory finger and say something like “How dare you sir! How. Dare. You!”. Make a big scene about it because your trial will be in the presence of all of humanity – you’ll want to make sure all of us can witness what a tough guy you are. Add in stuff like “You can’t make me!” Also mention that stuff about His Messenger (pbuh) being a “thoroughly unholy man” – that’ll show Him! You go girl!

    “…Thus does Allah leave astray he who is a transgressor and a skeptic.” (40:34)

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Mikel

    then one knows it was common to use 7 or its multiples (like 70 and 700) to mean; many or a large number. You are also making an assumption that life in Paradise follows a pattern of a linear experience like in this world;

     

    Yes, OK. But everything makes a lot more of sense when you consider that those writings were conceived in a time when people were very ignorant and superstitious. Scientific thinking was still centuries away so irrational myths permeated all aspects of their brutal lives. And that you are just making post-hoc, implausible rationalizations in order to defend those ancient writings.

    Note also that we haven't even talked about how you pious wife/s, living with you in Heaven (is that not part of the reward?), would feel about your playing around with houris non-stop.

    No amount of contrived rationalizations will be able to compete with the alternative hypothesis that introducing the houris reward, contradictory as it was, made for a very powerful argument in the simple minds of the guys of those eras, for whom the message was written.


    well, due to random circumstance, it really, really sucked to be you. But don’t worry, your big payoff is coming up – a big black void!
     
    I think that Talha here is making the argument that not believing in an afterlife is very hard. Well, yes. That is why religions exist. I, for one, have never denied that being able to believe in an afterlife, no matter how irrational your religion is, is much more comfortable.
    , @Bliss

    LOL! Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters?
     
    I am free to speculate all I want for I do not subscribe to your religion which forbids the speculations and wishful thinking that you endlessly indulge in. Islam is the final message of Allah isn’t it? Thus, the fact that you don’t accept it as such but stubbornly continue to speculate beyond what is written in your holy book exposes you as one lacking in faith in the Last Prophet. The punishment for you is very explicitly described in the Koran: eternal torture in Hell. Game on indeed, LOL!

    You are also making an assumption that life in Paradise follows a pattern of a linear experience like in this world
     
    There you go again. Unlike the religions that teach reincarnation Islam teaches linearity as a fundamental principle. You live only once, you die, you are bodily resurrected, and finally you spend eternity either in a torture chamber or a whorehouse. Where in the Koran does it say that the heavenly or hellish experience is non- linear?
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  145. Mikel says:
    @Talha

    Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters?
     
    LOL! Translation: How dare you give an answer that challenges my presuppositions!

    How for example is a child afflicted with torture by it’s own parents a “trial” for them?
     
    It is a trial. That child had rights upon them and they had a sacred duty to uphold those rights - they violated those rights and responsibilities and will pay the consequences. Again, you come across a child dying from being abused and tortured by their parents - no chance of recovery; what do you tell them?
    "Cheer up kid, at least you won't be seeing them again. Well, actually you won't be seeing anybody ever again. You'll never know what it is to ride a horse, or fly a plane, or know what female companionship is like, or, or...because well, due to random circumstance, it really, really sucked to be you. But don't worry, your big payoff is coming up - a big black void! Yay! Just think of it like a rainbow all mashed together!"

    fornicating
     
    There is no fornicating. Fornication is a moral crime - which are defined by God. When He says; here are houris that I created to serve and provide you with enjoyment - no crime is being committed - and game is ON!

    It would get boring after say a million years if not much earlier.
     
    LOL! Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters?

    Hadith mentioning houris usually don't give a number, but 70 is a common number given. One can take that literally, but if one knows what the context of the culture of the Arabs was at that time, then one knows it was common to use 7 or its multiples (like 70 and 700) to mean; many or a large number. You are also making an assumption that life in Paradise follows a pattern of a linear experience like in this world; there is no indication that one day in Paradise will be just like the preceding one, nor one experience be felt the same as the last. Besides, how do you plan on keeping busy once you and all your consciousness stop existing - I heard that's really boring, but maybe you can make the best of it by not-imagining not-houris.

    Plus - all those pleasures pale in comparison to the Beatific Vision of God which is the ultimate experience and the ultimate payoff.


    You are truly bankrupt both morally and rationally.
     
    And this...is my defense strategy; my Lord, I was an idiot and a sinner, I bring to your door nothing by foulness and stupidity, my life was wasted - I only had hope in Your Mercy - I beg You, do not send your slave away empty-handed!

    So the question remains: how does Allah justify torturing forever those whom he willed not to believe?
     
    You're asking the wrong guy. Like I said, you'll meet Him. You can ask Him directly. Make sure you stamp your feet real hard and don't forget to point an accusatory finger and say something like "How dare you sir! How. Dare. You!". Make a big scene about it because your trial will be in the presence of all of humanity - you'll want to make sure all of us can witness what a tough guy you are. Add in stuff like "You can't make me!" Also mention that stuff about His Messenger (pbuh) being a "thoroughly unholy man" - that'll show Him! You go girl!

    "...Thus does Allah leave astray he who is a transgressor and a skeptic." (40:34)

    Peace.

    then one knows it was common to use 7 or its multiples (like 70 and 700) to mean; many or a large number. You are also making an assumption that life in Paradise follows a pattern of a linear experience like in this world;

    Yes, OK. But everything makes a lot more of sense when you consider that those writings were conceived in a time when people were very ignorant and superstitious. Scientific thinking was still centuries away so irrational myths permeated all aspects of their brutal lives. And that you are just making post-hoc, implausible rationalizations in order to defend those ancient writings.

    Note also that we haven’t even talked about how you pious wife/s, living with you in Heaven (is that not part of the reward?), would feel about your playing around with houris non-stop.

    No amount of contrived rationalizations will be able to compete with the alternative hypothesis that introducing the houris reward, contradictory as it was, made for a very powerful argument in the simple minds of the guys of those eras, for whom the message was written.

    well, due to random circumstance, it really, really sucked to be you. But don’t worry, your big payoff is coming up – a big black void!

    I think that Talha here is making the argument that not believing in an afterlife is very hard. Well, yes. That is why religions exist. I, for one, have never denied that being able to believe in an afterlife, no matter how irrational your religion is, is much more comfortable.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    And that you are just making post-hoc, implausible rationalizations in order to defend those ancient writings.
     
    (face palm) Do you have any idea how many centuries back the science of Arabic grammar and rhetoric was codified by the Persian scholars? And the fact that they used both the Qur'an to derive the rules and descriptions as well as pre-Islamic poetry like those of Labid and Imr ul-Qays. Seriously bro, this is embarrassing.

    made for a very powerful argument in the simple minds of the guys of those eras
     
    I have yet to meet a male convert to Islam of the current day that is not looking forward to Houris in Paradise. One white convert that was my roommate in UCLA was especially looking forward because he left watching porn behind and was glad he would get to be rewarded by being surrounded by beautiful women.

    But I commend you on proposing the ideal vision of Paradise as one full of eternal celibacy; plenty of walks on the beach, harps perhaps...of course one can simply avoid their Houris if that's what floats one's boat or play chess with them or cuddle...

    Peace.
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  146. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Talha
    And some SJWs get triggered by micro-aggressions. I don't spend much time worrying about people's feelz. If they think the society is truly falling apart due to that limitation - they should get off the internet and start doing some serious organizing or protesting or something - otherwise they are just talking hot air or they are chumps.

    Peace.

    I understand that you don’t care about feelings, but why should people care about what you feel about the feelings of third parties?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    They shouldn't care. The issue is, I have a teenage daughter, so I have an ear attuned to detecting hyperbolic drama. The lifting of the Holocaust Denial prohibition is not going to magically solve their declining birth rates (or sperm counts), or their immigration issue, or increase the economy by two-fold, or...

    There are plenty of non-Muslims in Malaysia like the ethnic Chinese who do very well for themselves despite the presence of a blasphemy law - it's totally a marginal issue.

    Peace.
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  147. Bliss says:
    @Talha

    Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters?
     
    LOL! Translation: How dare you give an answer that challenges my presuppositions!

    How for example is a child afflicted with torture by it’s own parents a “trial” for them?
     
    It is a trial. That child had rights upon them and they had a sacred duty to uphold those rights - they violated those rights and responsibilities and will pay the consequences. Again, you come across a child dying from being abused and tortured by their parents - no chance of recovery; what do you tell them?
    "Cheer up kid, at least you won't be seeing them again. Well, actually you won't be seeing anybody ever again. You'll never know what it is to ride a horse, or fly a plane, or know what female companionship is like, or, or...because well, due to random circumstance, it really, really sucked to be you. But don't worry, your big payoff is coming up - a big black void! Yay! Just think of it like a rainbow all mashed together!"

    fornicating
     
    There is no fornicating. Fornication is a moral crime - which are defined by God. When He says; here are houris that I created to serve and provide you with enjoyment - no crime is being committed - and game is ON!

    It would get boring after say a million years if not much earlier.
     
    LOL! Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters?

    Hadith mentioning houris usually don't give a number, but 70 is a common number given. One can take that literally, but if one knows what the context of the culture of the Arabs was at that time, then one knows it was common to use 7 or its multiples (like 70 and 700) to mean; many or a large number. You are also making an assumption that life in Paradise follows a pattern of a linear experience like in this world; there is no indication that one day in Paradise will be just like the preceding one, nor one experience be felt the same as the last. Besides, how do you plan on keeping busy once you and all your consciousness stop existing - I heard that's really boring, but maybe you can make the best of it by not-imagining not-houris.

    Plus - all those pleasures pale in comparison to the Beatific Vision of God which is the ultimate experience and the ultimate payoff.


    You are truly bankrupt both morally and rationally.
     
    And this...is my defense strategy; my Lord, I was an idiot and a sinner, I bring to your door nothing by foulness and stupidity, my life was wasted - I only had hope in Your Mercy - I beg You, do not send your slave away empty-handed!

    So the question remains: how does Allah justify torturing forever those whom he willed not to believe?
     
    You're asking the wrong guy. Like I said, you'll meet Him. You can ask Him directly. Make sure you stamp your feet real hard and don't forget to point an accusatory finger and say something like "How dare you sir! How. Dare. You!". Make a big scene about it because your trial will be in the presence of all of humanity - you'll want to make sure all of us can witness what a tough guy you are. Add in stuff like "You can't make me!" Also mention that stuff about His Messenger (pbuh) being a "thoroughly unholy man" - that'll show Him! You go girl!

    "...Thus does Allah leave astray he who is a transgressor and a skeptic." (40:34)

    Peace.

    LOL! Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters?

    I am free to speculate all I want for I do not subscribe to your religion which forbids the speculations and wishful thinking that you endlessly indulge in. Islam is the final message of Allah isn’t it? Thus, the fact that you don’t accept it as such but stubbornly continue to speculate beyond what is written in your holy book exposes you as one lacking in faith in the Last Prophet. The punishment for you is very explicitly described in the Koran: eternal torture in Hell. Game on indeed, LOL!

    You are also making an assumption that life in Paradise follows a pattern of a linear experience like in this world

    There you go again. Unlike the religions that teach reincarnation Islam teaches linearity as a fundamental principle. You live only once, you die, you are bodily resurrected, and finally you spend eternity either in a torture chamber or a whorehouse. Where in the Koran does it say that the heavenly or hellish experience is non- linear?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    Islam is the final message of Allah isn’t it?
     
    Uh, yeah...

    the fact that you don’t accept it as such but stubbornly continue to speculate beyond what is written in your holy book
     
    LOL! Oh you mean I don't accept what you want it to state - nice! The Muslim scholars have already written plenty of these types of statements in their exegesis. Their books are full of speculations on what the indented meaning of the verses of Quran (or hadith) are. I'm actually not bringing anything new that you won't find in one of the tafsirs or in the writings of men like Imam Ghazali (ra) or Shah Waliullah (ra), or...that fact that you are unaware of them is irrelevant.

    Where in the Koran does it say that the heavenly or hellish experience is non- linear?
     
    Yeah because hadith have nothing to say on the matter...just a couple...
    "Allah has said: I have prepared for My righteous servants what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no heart has conceived..." -reported in Trimidhi

    "In Jannah there is a market to which the people will come every Friday. The northern wind will blow and shower fragrance on their faces and clothes and, consequently, it will enhance their beauty and loveliness. They will then return to their wives who will also have increased in their beauty and loveliness, and their families will say to them: 'We swear by Allah that you have been increased in beauty and loveliness since leaving us.' Thereupon they will reply: 'We swear by Allah that you have also been increased in beauty and loveliness since we left you." - reported in Muslim

    But you're probably right, sounds like a pretty sucky and boring place - probably not worth your while. Black void of non-existence on the other hand - fun times for sure!!!

    Peace.
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  148. Talha says:
    @Bliss

    LOL! Who gave you the right to speculate on such matters?
     
    I am free to speculate all I want for I do not subscribe to your religion which forbids the speculations and wishful thinking that you endlessly indulge in. Islam is the final message of Allah isn’t it? Thus, the fact that you don’t accept it as such but stubbornly continue to speculate beyond what is written in your holy book exposes you as one lacking in faith in the Last Prophet. The punishment for you is very explicitly described in the Koran: eternal torture in Hell. Game on indeed, LOL!

    You are also making an assumption that life in Paradise follows a pattern of a linear experience like in this world
     
    There you go again. Unlike the religions that teach reincarnation Islam teaches linearity as a fundamental principle. You live only once, you die, you are bodily resurrected, and finally you spend eternity either in a torture chamber or a whorehouse. Where in the Koran does it say that the heavenly or hellish experience is non- linear?

    Islam is the final message of Allah isn’t it?

    Uh, yeah…

    the fact that you don’t accept it as such but stubbornly continue to speculate beyond what is written in your holy book

    LOL! Oh you mean I don’t accept what you want it to state – nice! The Muslim scholars have already written plenty of these types of statements in their exegesis. Their books are full of speculations on what the indented meaning of the verses of Quran (or hadith) are. I’m actually not bringing anything new that you won’t find in one of the tafsirs or in the writings of men like Imam Ghazali (ra) or Shah Waliullah (ra), or…that fact that you are unaware of them is irrelevant.

    Where in the Koran does it say that the heavenly or hellish experience is non- linear?

    Yeah because hadith have nothing to say on the matter…just a couple…
    “Allah has said: I have prepared for My righteous servants what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no heart has conceived…” -reported in Trimidhi

    “In Jannah there is a market to which the people will come every Friday. The northern wind will blow and shower fragrance on their faces and clothes and, consequently, it will enhance their beauty and loveliness. They will then return to their wives who will also have increased in their beauty and loveliness, and their families will say to them: ‘We swear by Allah that you have been increased in beauty and loveliness since leaving us.’ Thereupon they will reply: ‘We swear by Allah that you have also been increased in beauty and loveliness since we left you.” – reported in Muslim

    But you’re probably right, sounds like a pretty sucky and boring place – probably not worth your while. Black void of non-existence on the other hand – fun times for sure!!!

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bliss

    I’m actually not bringing anything new that you won’t find in one of the tafsirs or in the writings of men like Imam Ghazali (ra) or Shah Waliullah (ra)
     
    They were sufis. Mohammad claimed to be a prophet in the Abrahamic tradition, not a Sufi mystic influenced by Indian spirituality. Since you follow Sufi saints not Mohammad you deserve beheading here and eternal torture in Hell after your dead body is resurrected. Game on? LOL.

    I have yet to meet a male convert to Islam of the current day that is not looking forward to Houris in Paradise. One white convert that was my roommate in UCLA was especially looking forward because he left watching porn behind and was glad he would get to be rewarded by being surrounded by beautiful women.
     
    1. True Sufis seek oneness with God not sexual intercourse ad infinitum. You are totally fake or totally confused. Either way you are a very stupid man.

    2. These fools, including you, obviously never learned that according to Mohammad the Islamic heaven has room for only 70,000 people. Since there have been billions of Muslims in history that means only a very, very tiny fraction of them will enter that whorehouse in the sky.

    3. They probably were also never told that they would be able to see the bone marrow of the houris. Who the hell gets sexually aroused by the sight of bone marrow?
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  149. Talha says:
    @Anon
    I understand that you don't care about feelings, but why should people care about what you feel about the feelings of third parties?

    They shouldn’t care. The issue is, I have a teenage daughter, so I have an ear attuned to detecting hyperbolic drama. The lifting of the Holocaust Denial prohibition is not going to magically solve their declining birth rates (or sperm counts), or their immigration issue, or increase the economy by two-fold, or…

    There are plenty of non-Muslims in Malaysia like the ethnic Chinese who do very well for themselves despite the presence of a blasphemy law – it’s totally a marginal issue.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Okay, this is a more reasoned approach. Still, nobody (okay, nobody I've ever heard of, even here) has claimed that legislation in Europe suppressing dissent over the Holocaust or antisemitism or whatever else you can be fined and jailed for over there is the sole cause of Europe's problems. Similarly, Iraq will not become a model state on the removal of US troops-- not remotely. But we still protest (actually I personally haven't gone to an antiwar protest for years, but you get the drift).

    Malaysia is interesting, I'm sure (it has lots of Tamils as well), but it is not only a conversational digression but complete terra incognita to me as far as its laws are concerned.
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  150. Talha says:
    @Mikel

    then one knows it was common to use 7 or its multiples (like 70 and 700) to mean; many or a large number. You are also making an assumption that life in Paradise follows a pattern of a linear experience like in this world;

     

    Yes, OK. But everything makes a lot more of sense when you consider that those writings were conceived in a time when people were very ignorant and superstitious. Scientific thinking was still centuries away so irrational myths permeated all aspects of their brutal lives. And that you are just making post-hoc, implausible rationalizations in order to defend those ancient writings.

    Note also that we haven't even talked about how you pious wife/s, living with you in Heaven (is that not part of the reward?), would feel about your playing around with houris non-stop.

    No amount of contrived rationalizations will be able to compete with the alternative hypothesis that introducing the houris reward, contradictory as it was, made for a very powerful argument in the simple minds of the guys of those eras, for whom the message was written.


    well, due to random circumstance, it really, really sucked to be you. But don’t worry, your big payoff is coming up – a big black void!
     
    I think that Talha here is making the argument that not believing in an afterlife is very hard. Well, yes. That is why religions exist. I, for one, have never denied that being able to believe in an afterlife, no matter how irrational your religion is, is much more comfortable.

    And that you are just making post-hoc, implausible rationalizations in order to defend those ancient writings.

    (face palm) Do you have any idea how many centuries back the science of Arabic grammar and rhetoric was codified by the Persian scholars? And the fact that they used both the Qur’an to derive the rules and descriptions as well as pre-Islamic poetry like those of Labid and Imr ul-Qays. Seriously bro, this is embarrassing.

    made for a very powerful argument in the simple minds of the guys of those eras

    I have yet to meet a male convert to Islam of the current day that is not looking forward to Houris in Paradise. One white convert that was my roommate in UCLA was especially looking forward because he left watching porn behind and was glad he would get to be rewarded by being surrounded by beautiful women.

    But I commend you on proposing the ideal vision of Paradise as one full of eternal celibacy; plenty of walks on the beach, harps perhaps…of course one can simply avoid their Houris if that’s what floats one’s boat or play chess with them or cuddle…

    Peace.

    Read More
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  151. Talha says:

    OK guys – it’s been fun, but I am truly done this time. Maybe on another thread, but I got other things to do…thanks!

    Read More
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  152. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Talha
    They shouldn't care. The issue is, I have a teenage daughter, so I have an ear attuned to detecting hyperbolic drama. The lifting of the Holocaust Denial prohibition is not going to magically solve their declining birth rates (or sperm counts), or their immigration issue, or increase the economy by two-fold, or...

    There are plenty of non-Muslims in Malaysia like the ethnic Chinese who do very well for themselves despite the presence of a blasphemy law - it's totally a marginal issue.

    Peace.

    Okay, this is a more reasoned approach. Still, nobody (okay, nobody I’ve ever heard of, even here) has claimed that legislation in Europe suppressing dissent over the Holocaust or antisemitism or whatever else you can be fined and jailed for over there is the sole cause of Europe’s problems. Similarly, Iraq will not become a model state on the removal of US troops– not remotely. But we still protest (actually I personally haven’t gone to an antiwar protest for years, but you get the drift).

    Malaysia is interesting, I’m sure (it has lots of Tamils as well), but it is not only a conversational digression but complete terra incognita to me as far as its laws are concerned.

    Read More
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  153. Bliss says:
    @Talha

    Islam is the final message of Allah isn’t it?
     
    Uh, yeah...

    the fact that you don’t accept it as such but stubbornly continue to speculate beyond what is written in your holy book
     
    LOL! Oh you mean I don't accept what you want it to state - nice! The Muslim scholars have already written plenty of these types of statements in their exegesis. Their books are full of speculations on what the indented meaning of the verses of Quran (or hadith) are. I'm actually not bringing anything new that you won't find in one of the tafsirs or in the writings of men like Imam Ghazali (ra) or Shah Waliullah (ra), or...that fact that you are unaware of them is irrelevant.

    Where in the Koran does it say that the heavenly or hellish experience is non- linear?
     
    Yeah because hadith have nothing to say on the matter...just a couple...
    "Allah has said: I have prepared for My righteous servants what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no heart has conceived..." -reported in Trimidhi

    "In Jannah there is a market to which the people will come every Friday. The northern wind will blow and shower fragrance on their faces and clothes and, consequently, it will enhance their beauty and loveliness. They will then return to their wives who will also have increased in their beauty and loveliness, and their families will say to them: 'We swear by Allah that you have been increased in beauty and loveliness since leaving us.' Thereupon they will reply: 'We swear by Allah that you have also been increased in beauty and loveliness since we left you." - reported in Muslim

    But you're probably right, sounds like a pretty sucky and boring place - probably not worth your while. Black void of non-existence on the other hand - fun times for sure!!!

    Peace.

    I’m actually not bringing anything new that you won’t find in one of the tafsirs or in the writings of men like Imam Ghazali (ra) or Shah Waliullah (ra)

    They were sufis. Mohammad claimed to be a prophet in the Abrahamic tradition, not a Sufi mystic influenced by Indian spirituality. Since you follow Sufi saints not Mohammad you deserve beheading here and eternal torture in Hell after your dead body is resurrected. Game on? LOL.

    I have yet to meet a male convert to Islam of the current day that is not looking forward to Houris in Paradise. One white convert that was my roommate in UCLA was especially looking forward because he left watching porn behind and was glad he would get to be rewarded by being surrounded by beautiful women.

    1. True Sufis seek oneness with God not sexual intercourse ad infinitum. You are totally fake or totally confused. Either way you are a very stupid man.

    2. These fools, including you, obviously never learned that according to Mohammad the Islamic heaven has room for only 70,000 people. Since there have been billions of Muslims in history that means only a very, very tiny fraction of them will enter that whorehouse in the sky.

    3. They probably were also never told that they would be able to see the bone marrow of the houris. Who the hell gets sexually aroused by the sight of bone marrow?

    Read More
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  154. @AP
    An example of how building a wall while ignoring climate change and its consequences is incredibly short-sighted and stupid. Where will those hundreds of millions go when they can't feed each other?

    Where would they go if there was no wall? Do you think India has the ability to feed all of them, plus their own people?

    Read More
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  155. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Talha
    Hey Erik,

    from which they have purged any Non-Muslims
     
    This is not correct. Pakistan has a minority of Christians and Hindus, Sikhs (and even Kalasha) who have reserved seats in parliament. In fact, just recently, they were granted a 50% increase in reserved seats due to their increase in population.

    Bangladesh has a more substantial Hindu minority around 10% compared to India's 14% Muslim minority.

    while India still has a substantial Muslim minority
     
    I support her giving those Muslim-majority states independence at any time she wants in order to become more purely Hindu.

    Peace.

    The English gave their empire away, for various reasons. Turks never thought of that.

    Read More
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