November 29, 2007

"Mrs Gibbons technically faces three charges - insulting Islam, inciting religious hatred and contempt for religious beliefs..."

Those who subject her to those charges are inciting contempt for religious beliefs.

227 comments:

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George said...

It was amusing in last night's GOP debate to hear politicians again and again talk about how a great religion has been hijacked.

The Saudi foreign minister won't even shake hands with the Israeli delegate at Annapolis....! (Who hijacked him...and he was educated at Princeton and a US prep school...)

In places like Sudan, Egypt, Iran, and Saudi Arabia millions of people are barely literate, most are educated in religious schools (i.e. lots of Qu'ranic memorization), and most people know what the government controlled press (and imams) tell them.

For example, these cartoons are typical and arise as much from traditional Islamic beliefs as they do from political thuggery.

Of course, she should die. She has insulted Muhammad. If a Sudanese Muslim did the same (or converted to Christianity), he'd have to die, too.

Trooper York said...

Rick: You are arresting her? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that you think that the Sudan is a festering pesthole of murderous barbarians, who are demanding to whip an innocent teacher because of a perverted distortion of their religion.
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of Saudi money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
[aloud]
Captain Renault: Everybody be quiet! This is the religion of peace. We must respect their practices. You are just bigots. Be silent.
(Casablanca, 1942)

Richard Dolan said...

"Those who subject her to those charges are inciting contempt for religious beliefs."

Perhaps in Brooklyn and Madison, but unfortunately, not true in Khartoum. Therein lies the whole problem.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Yea, what Trooper said.

I was young and idealistic once, and then met reality.

The young, idealistic peace corp types whp think they can go into hell and sell ice cream to help the peasants are likely to discover hell isn't all that pleasant, and outsiders rarely help anyone.

And a non-Muslim trying to educate third-world Muslims is apparently in for a whipping - sometimes literally.

Simon said...

How can anyone - straight-faced or otherwise - advance some concept of multiculturalism, of an semblance of cultural equality in the face of what is and should be called utter barbarism?

One yearns for the days when such an action would have triggered the swift dispatch of HMS Eagle, Ark Royal, Nelson and party.

jeff said...

Hey now Simon. All cultures are equal. Open up your understanding or we will have to send you back to the re-education camps.

rcocean said...

Are we sure this isn't about Mel Gibson?

Ann Althouse said...

"Perhaps in Brooklyn and Madison, but unfortunately, not true in Khartoum"

The Koran purports to impose God's universal rules. I'm no expert, but I'm throwing out the theory -- may imams correct me if I'm wrong -- that if it's sin to bring contempt on religion -- which they say -- then they are committing that sin. These are all textual interpretations, so I'm trying my hand. I want those who believe interpretation 1 to tell me why interpretation 2 must not also be true. Have they not painted themselves into a corner?

Simon said...

Perfect example of clueless multiculturalism in the comments on the thisislondon story: "Daveb" of London writes that "However bad the actions of violence that Islam brings against people, all the religions are just as violent, Christianity especially, let's not get this twisted." He's right, of course, which was why Andres Serrano was tried, convicted and executed by the State of New York for insulting Jesus. There's evidently some estalbishment clause caselaw that I have missed, because the last time I checked it was mainly just people whining that the government permitted a nativity display on public land. Seriously, when was the last time that a western government tried someone -- under any possible penalty, let alone corporal or even capital punishment -- for insulting Christianity? And Christianity is "especially" "just as violent" as Islam? Please.

Sigivald said...

Doesn't it follow logically from these charges that the Sudanese children who did the actual naming of the stuffed bear must therefore hate Islam, insult it, and hold it in contempt?

No, I didn't think so, either.

jeff said...

"Have they not painted themselves into a corner?"

But isn't that what most religions do at some point? Look at Christianity. (not to pick on it, or compare it to what is in Sudan) but many ministers have issues against homosexuals because of what is in the bible which is considered the divine word of God, but have less of a issue with divorce, adultery, masturbation, etc which are also in the bible and condemned in one way or another. In the Sudan and in Europe during the middle ages, couldn't this be considered a way for the powerful (the religious leaders) to control the non powerful, and if being inconstant and making the religion fit whatever the particular situation is, it seems work.

Trooper York said...

Captain Renault: In 1935, you ran guns to Ethiopia. In 1936, you fought in Spain, on the Loyalist side. Now you must bend your knee to primitive fanaticism and religious intolerance. In the name of tolerance and diversity. You must not fight for what you think is right. You must surrender your morals and beliefs to placate these savages. It’s easy. We French have doing it for years.
Rick: I have morals. I still have scruples. This must not stand.
Captain Renault: Don’t be such a Cowboy. You Americans. You just don’t understand nuance. I wish John and Teresa were here to explain it to you.
(Casablanca, 1942)

Hoosier Daddy said...

The young, idealistic peace corp types whp think they can go into hell and sell ice cream to help the peasants are likely to discover hell isn't all that pleasant, and outsiders rarely help anyone.

Was watching NBC last night and they showed a segment of Marine choppers bringing in food and water to the Bangladeshis. The part that almost made me throw my beer at the TV was the commenter who said (and I paraphrase) “Government officials of this mostly Muslim nation have asked that the Marines bringing in supplies keep a low profile.”

Really? Well if I was running the show the Marine profile would be so low that the whole country would starve to death before one US soldier set foot on their soil. Yes such a brutal, fascistic regime this US of Bush is where we go out of our way to try and help people who hate us.

When I see attitudes like that to people we’re trying to help, even in the face of human suffering I am beginning to get long past caring and am fast approaching apathy.

Simon said...

Ann, it seems to me that if your theory's correct, and if much of the practice of Islam in the middle east is any guide, then the practice of Islam is itself a sin, insofar as many of the practices of those countries purporting to apply Islamic law ought to without question elicit the contempt of the civilized world (and should certainly invite the implaccable hostilty of feminists, as Chesler has clearly argued).

JohnTaylor88 said...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=23b8Xsm8PNc

Fen said...

Have they not painted themselves into a corner?

Yah, but by Islam's definition, OBL is apostate, and they still follow him.

Spain"Inasmuch as Osama bin Laden and his organization defend terrorism as legal and try to base it on the Quran ... they are committing the crime of 'istihlal' and thus become apostates that should not be considered Muslims or treated as such." The Arabic term 'istihlal' refers to the act of making up one's own laws.

http://cayankee.blogs.com/cayankee/2005/03/fatwa_issue_aga.html

Pogo said...

I'm long past apathy and engage instead considerable antipathy.

Modern barbarians all.

Ann Althouse said...

Simon said..."Ann, it seems to me that if your theory's correct, and if much of the practice of Islam in the middle east is any guide, then the practice of Islam is itself a sin, insofar as many of the practices of those countries purporting to apply Islamic law ought to without question elicit the contempt of the civilized world (and should certainly invite the implaccable hostilty of feminists, as Chesler has clearly argued)."

No, I'm just showing a path to reform. Islam is all about interpreting a text — I think. This inconsistency merely points the way to a better interpretation.

Trooper York said...

Annina: Monsieur Rick, what kind of a man is Captain Renault?
Rick: Oh, he's just like any other frenchman, only more so.
Annina: Then he will do nothing to save her. What about her countrymen. Will they let this innocent grandmother be whipped like a dog in the street for an innocent mistake?
Rick; Well I don’t know. Churchill has been dead for a long time.
Annina: Yes, I see. And the Teddy Roosevelt is long gone as well. Now you have, how do you say, the Teddy Kennedy.
(Casablanca, 1942)

ricpic said...

Inside the Althousian mind: mustn't draw any conclusions; who are we to judge them; all cultures equal; must show respect; must continue dialog with Islam, which is, it goes without saying, a great religion; if all else fails must appease, appease, appease; in any case, nothing is worth risking death for according to my religion, Secular Humanism.

JohnTaylor88 said...

It does not "bring contempt upon religion" to carry out its edicts faithfully. The point is if she purposefully sought to brainwash children into blaspheming and turning away from God, she should be punished. Anyone of reasonable intelligence who lacks prejudice can understand as much without finding Islam contemptible, whether or not he concurs in the severity of the punishment. It is not commonplace to take blasphemy seriously in Western culture these days, but all the Abrahamic faiths forbid it. There is nothing unique about Islam in this respect, nor does this story have anything to do with feminism.

paul a'barge said...

JohnTaylor88: ...if she purposefully sought to brainwash children into blaspheming and turning away from God...

Uhh, John? It was a teddy bear. A stuffed toy treasured by the class. And she didn't tell them to name it Mohammed. She let them toss a bunch of different names into the pool and then vote on which one they wanted. And overwhelmingly, the children voted for Mohammed.

You cite ...anyone of reasonable intelligence.... You sir do not qualify for this description.

Ann Althouse said...

"However bad the actions of violence that Islam brings against people, all the religions are just as violent, Christianity especially, let's not get this twisted."

Let's look at the Sermon on the Mount:

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

That is saying your religion should work in such a way when others look on, they will think it's a wonderful religion and that it truly does express what God is.

I would like to hear whether the imams think it matters what their display of religion looks like to outsiders.

ricpic said..."Inside the Althousian mind: mustn't draw any conclusions; who are we to judge them; all cultures equal; must show respect; must continue dialog with Islam, which is, it goes without saying, a great religion; if all else fails must appease, appease, appease; in any case, nothing is worth risking death for according to my religion, Secular Humanism."

Speaking of crappy interpretation....

Simon said...

ann althouse said...
"I'm just showing a path to reform. Islam is all about interpreting a text — I think."

My serious reply is that isn't that one of the principle theological differences between Sunni and Shia?

My more flippant (if more honest) reply is that so far as I can see, it seems to be if not all then in significant part about finding novel excuses for violence against women.

Trooper York said...

Captain Renault: Come now Rick, this is not your fight. You must not stand in the way of the public good. We can not have disorder in the streets. We can’t have them burring automobiles in the street. I just got a new Peugot.What is it that you always say, it doesn't take much to see that the problems of these little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that.
Rick: But how can we stand by and let this happen. We can stop it. We just need to stand together and we can stop them in their tracks. It’s just not right.
Captain Renault: Come, come my friend. It”s not your problem. Just make an excuse for them.
We can find a way to justify it and turn our faces away. It’s easy. Or are you one of those trouble making neocons? You know, a Jew?
(Casablanca, 1942)

jeff said...

".if she purposefully sought to brainwash children into blaspheming and turning away from God..."

Story linked to from Drudge this morning said that one of the kids named it after himself and all the kids agreed with it.

Slim999 said...

Make no mistake about it Ann ... when the Muslims in the United States take over the US Congress (and they will ... just ask Keith Ellison), you'll be the first witch burned at the stake.

Simon said...

johntaylor88 said...
"It does not 'bring contempt upon religion' to carry out its edicts faithfully."

Of course does. If your religion instructs you to treat women as pets and you faithfully carry out that edict, it brings contempt on you and your religion.

To paraphrase Ann's observation about libertarians, it seems obvious to me that if your religious theory doesn't provide for treating women as equals, you need a new theory. If your religious theory calls for the death penalty for a minor perceived slight, you need a new theory -- and come to think of it, if your religious theory calls for physical violence in response to actual insults, you need a new theory.

And if someone says that gender apardheid isn't a feminist issue ("nor does this story have anything to do with feminism"), I don't understand how such a person can call themselves a feminist. If that's your position, it seems to me, you aren't interested in women's rights -- you're interested in your rights, and those of your friends, of people who look like and live like you as a proxy for your rights. If you aren't appalled by the treatment of women in these barbarian backwaters, I don't see how you're not a FINO at best.

Trooper York said...

Ilsa: [laughs ironically] With the whole world crumbling, we pick this time to fall in love.
Rick: Yeah, it's pretty bad timing. How could you be so foolish? Don’t you know how easy it is to inflame these madmen? Look at what has happened to you because of a stuffed bear.
Ilsa: [trying to be cheerful]..Yes I know. I just wanted to teach them and help them. That is why I came to this cesspool. I am just here to help them. They must know that all I wanted to do was to teach the little children I hoped to make a difference. To be an example.
Rick: Well now they want to make you an example.
(Casablanca 1942)

George said...

If I were running for President, I'd denounce the governments of Sudan and Saudi Arabia (over the rape case and the inability of its foreign minister to touch a Jew).

There's time between now and Jan. 20, 2009, to make nice with the princes, and as a candidate I'd delight millions of Americans by standing up for two innocent women (and Jewish people and the human race).

Ann Althouse said...

johntaylor88 said...
It does not "bring contempt upon religion" to carry out its edicts faithfully. The point is if she purposefully sought to brainwash children into blaspheming and turning away from God, she should be punished....There is nothing unique about Islam in this respect..."

I must quote Jesus again:

"And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck."

Raising children in a religion is taken very seriously here, though I note he doesn't say we ought to throw people into the sea with large millstones around their necks. But he is saying the afterlife for them will be worse, the punishment at God's hands:

"If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where " 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.' Everyone will be salted with fire."

Note the eye-plucking, which Huckabee cited last night in saying you shouldn't take all this stuff literally.

Cedarford said...

George - The Saudi foreign minister won't even shake hands with the Israeli delegate at Annapolis....! (Who hijacked him...and he was educated at Princeton and a US prep school...)

Of course not. KSA is still at war, technically, with Israel since 1948 and has not yet recognized them. It is an honor culture. No different really than NORKs refusing to shake hands with S Koreans.

Informally, KSA and Israel of course have relations and productive talks on other subjects of mutual interest in a spirit of amity. And individual Zionists and Saudis have forged business and social bonds limited in some ways by the "cold war" between the sides, but of high trust and teamwork. Example would be Saudi investors and Jewish real estate mavens and lawyers making daily deals in NYC.
That is just how diplomacy functions. When nations are formal enemies, but live alongside one another, protocols require no glad-handing, but sometimes business must happen.

George - In places like Sudan, Egypt, Iran, and Saudi Arabia millions of people are barely literate, most are educated in religious schools (i.e. lots of Qu'ranic memorization)

Most are literate in all except Sudan. Most are educated in secular schools except Sudan. Iran in particular is far more advanced than the average American knows.

******************
Europe is having a bitter feast. After centuries of warfare created largely ethnically pure and stable countries that had low crime but would then wage bloody war on other ethnicities over territory or commerce....they saw Canada and it's multiculti as a model.
And created multiculti and never judging other cultures negatively as the new Po-Mo religion.

Worse. they encouraged mass immigration into Europe of Africans and Muslims and did not seek to encourage or even coerce assimilation - but told all citizens the new path was to embrace diversity and even celebrate and exaggerate differences.

Then they saw the fruits of "diversity" and encouraging cultural differences expressed in former Yugoslavia, crime rates tripling thanks mainly to African and Muslim immigrants, and centrifugal forces tearing their societies apart - and desperate measures by authorities to impose legal PC to stifle their population's outrage over the imported barbarians.

That is why the Left's curious defense of the harassers of Mrs Gibbons and the defense of those burning banieuls in France and now shooting cops with firearms persists. They are in desperate denial that multiculti and "blessed diversity" are morphs into cancers.

Hoist on their own petard..

If "diversity" makes a society more dynamic, more able to compete - then China, Japan, Korea are in real trouble and we should be seeing the nonassimilated fracturing cultures of Africa and tribal Muslim nations soon outcompete them.

When the US was assimilated and cohesive (aside from the blacks who were on an upward arc before the Civil Rights movement and the great destruction of the black family), we were a far more dynamic, nimble, comparatively better-educated than other countries, and competitive nation.

bill said...

Depeche Mode, Personal Jesus:
Your own personal jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone who cares
Your own personal jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone whos there


Robyn Hitchcock, Executioner:
You said the sweetest things,
that's what you said.
Here's a relationship,
with a gun to its head.
I'm the executioner of love.

LarsPorsena said...

Trooper:

You're hitting them outta' the park today.

Verso said...

Those who subject her to those charges are inciting contempt for religious beliefs.

Bravo! Very well said. That really about nails it.

tjl said...

"if she purposefully sought to brainwash children into blaspheming and turning away from God, she should be punished."

Just when it seemed that in this permissive, post-modern, multiculti age, nothing could be shocking anymore, along comes JohnTaylor88 with this authentically shocking little comment.

Trooper York said...

Captain Renault: Now Rick you must not judge them too harshly. After all they are just praticing their religion after all. We have no right to judge them or stop them in any way.
Rick: Well what if they were Axtecs and wanted to perform human sacrifice as part of their religion? Should we respect that? Should we turn aside and let them take an innocent woman and cut out her heart on the altar of supersition and madness?
Captain Renault: Don’t be silly. The Axtecs would be do busy being gardeners and maids to do that. Let’s not look for trouble. Oh, if only I had some lefty professors who could come down from their ivory tower to explain why we must tolerate the outre practices of these savages and their religion of peace. I am sure they would have a great explanation.
Rick: I wouldn’t count on that.
(Casablanca, 1942)

Zeb Quinn said...

Ann: Can't reach them that way. They don't believe that their enforcement of their rules in any way qualifies as or amounts to inciting religious hatred and contempt. They would believe just the opposite. And they would probably mete out a few lashes to you for suggesting it.

Why we fight.

Simon said...

ann althouse said...
"I must quote Jesus again: ... 'If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out....'"

The point there, surely, is "don't sin" - not "cut off your hand," or still less "cut off the hands of those who sin."

Simon said...

(Addenda: Or depending on how you construe the Sermon on the Mount, "you're going to sin, and so you need salvation otherwise you've got the whole mutilation-hell dilemma to worry about.")

Ann Althouse said...

Zeb Quinn said..."Ann: Can't reach them that way. They don't believe that their enforcement of their rules in any way qualifies as or amounts to inciting religious hatred and contempt. They would believe just the opposite. And they would probably mete out a few lashes to you for suggesting it. Why we fight."

I'm sure I'd be in trouble for saying this over there, but I like to take advantage of the freedoms I have here. And I find what you've written offensive. These are human beings. They have minds. Islam has involved competing interpretations over the centuries, and it is susceptible to a process of improvement by better interpretation. We used to whip people in this country too... and punish for blasphemy. We got over it.

Darkbloom said...

She has been found guilty and sentenced to 15 days in jail.

It is lunacy for the power of the state to be harnessed to punish those who run afoul of some people's interpretation of their religion.

Trooper York said...

Ugarte: You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Casablanca, but somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust.
Rick: What do you want you ugly little man.
Ugarte: I want you to stop this insane idea that you can hold these people to a civilized standard. They have just progressed to the point where they use a toilet instead of the street to void their wastes. This woman is not worth the effort.
Rick: Every citizen should be worth the effort. Our government will surely do all it can to keep her safe.
Ugarte. You are truly naive my friend. They could cut off her head and film it and no one would protest. In fact your countrymen would probably make a movie making them into heroes since they are thumbing their nose against their political opponents of the moment. She is just a woman after all.
Rick: But the women of America would never stand for this. They would raise a ruckus.
Ugarte: No they won’t if they want to fit in with fashionable society. They must maintain their liberal credentials at the cocktail party. They will make any excuse for the inexcusable. Any defense for the indefensible. The only thing that they won’t do is unequivocally express contempt for the truly contemptible.
(Casablanca, 1942)

Simon said...

ann althouse said...
"We used to whip people in this country too... and punish for blasphemy. We got over it."

Well, we've been working on it for longer, I suppose. Islam didn't really come into being for six or seven centuries after Christianity did, so maybe by about the time Buck Rogers is making eyes at Colonel Deering, Islam's view of women will be thoroughly 20th century. But I don't think that we should ask the women ground under its boot to show that kind of patience out of concerns for cultural sensitivity and moral relativism. Yes, there were periods in western history when we have not been civilized, but why should that mean we must tolerate barbarity in our midst?

Ron said...

painted themselves into a corner?

You're kidding right? Sadly, religious authorities with a Sacred Text are slicker than a guy dealing three card monte with a marked deck!

The methodology is: Find answer we want. Read/Spin/Interpret Sacred Text passage that supports already known answer. Declare "All is Revealed!!!" Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Fen said...

And I find what you've written offensive. These are human beings. They have minds. Islam has involved competing interpretations over the centuries, and it is susceptible to a process of improvement by better interpretation.

I used to believe much the same. And like you, I called for an Islamic Reformation... until someone taught me that Wahhabi Islam was that Reformation.

A study by the NGO Freedom House found wahhabi publications in a number of mosques in the United States preaching that Muslims should not only "always oppose" infidels "in every way," but "hate them for their religion ... for Allah's sake," that democracy "is responsible for all the horrible wars of the 20th century," that Shia and other non-Wahhabi Muslims were infidels, etc [via Wiki]

http://www.freedomhouse.org/uploads/special_report/45.pdf

Trooper York said...

Captain Renault: See my friend. You were upset for no reason. It was a simple fine, a mere few days in the lockup. Not the end of the world.
Rick: They put a woman in jail because of what some children decided to name a stuffed animal. They terrorized someone for no good reason. Someone who only wanted to help them and their people.
Captain Renault: Come now mes amie, the purpose of terrorists is to terrorize. After all, this is Casablanca.
(Casablanca, 1942)

ricpic said...

I walk down the universal street
Which my betters tell me is
The final destination of the family of man
And long for the narrow provincial lane
Which my ancestors called home.

Revenant said...

Simon,

Seriously, when was the last time that a western government tried someone -- under any possible penalty, let alone corporal or even capital punishment -- for insulting Christianity?

Well, in the United Kingdom the last successful prosecution for blaspheming Christianity happened in... 1977. The defendant was fined 500 pounds and given a nine-month suspended prison sentence. It is still technically possible, as I understand it, to prosecute people for blasphemy in England... although the way things are going over there the next person to be successfully prosecuted will probably be someone who badmouthed Islam.

I don't mean to undermine your larger point about the ridiculousness of considering all cultures equal, though. I entirely agree with you that considering the western treatment of religion equivalent to the Muslim world's treatment of it is utterly ridiculous.

Fen said...

I walk down the universal street

"But what if instead the border comes to you? Not explicitly, but in a kind of demographic equivalent to the overlaid area codes of a North American metropolis. Amsterdam is the city of legalized pot and prostitution and a gay hedonist paradise. But it's also a Muslim city, overlaid on the pothead playground. At what point does the nice Dutch gay couple realize they've crossed a border? That, without getting their passports stamped or changing their currency, they're now strangers in a strange land." - Mark Steyn

Simon said...

Rev - I wasn't familiar with that case, but even there (which was not only thirty years ago, but involved only a fine rather than jail time or corporal or capital punishment), from Wikipedia's description, it seems to have involved something more akin to a cross between a qui tam action and a private tort suit than a criminal prosecution for blasphemy by the state comparable to what Sudan is doing.

Revenant said...

Yeah, Simon, I agree it isn't fully comparable. Its just always been an interesting event, to me, just because we normally think of the UK as being so similar to America. But you just can't imagine a blasphemy prosecution happening in the 70s here, or at least I can't.

Richard Dolan said...

Ann: "The Koran purports to impose God's universal rules" and "Islam is all about interpreting a text — I think. This inconsistency merely points the way to a better interpretation."

I think you are right in that Islam is mostly about "interpreting a text." Your premise, if I understand your point correctly, is that the Sudanese are bringing "contempt on religion" by the impression of Islam they are creating with the Misnamed Teddy Bear Case among the infidels (the Brooklyn/Madison crowd among them). Your view of Islam's "universal rules" apparently imagines them to have some kind of equal protection component -- that seems to be what you mean by "universal rules". I think that's where your suggestion of an interpretive solution doesn't work.

I'm no imam -- any imam reading this string is urged to jump in and educate the dhimmis -- but my understanding of the Koran is that, for this purpose, it divides the world into believers and infidels. Under Islam there is only one religion; and the views of any infidel regarding Islam cannot qualify as "contempt of religion" because in that calculus (a) the views of infidels don't count and (b) ony Islam counts as a religion. The "universal rules" you talk about just apply differently depending on which category one is in -- there's one set for believers (and Islam as the true religion) and a different one for infidels (and all false religions).

Thus, even at the level of textual interpretation, I don't think your new interpretative approach works in Khartoum. That basic difference between believers/Islan and infidels/false religions isn't likely to be amendable to solution by a new interpretative approach. That is also why, I suppose, that the Saudis see no contradiction in making it an offense to import the Bible, let alone to teach from it, but see no problem in pressing for full acceptance of Islamic institutions throughout the land of the infidels.

But this is just my understanding based on my reading about Islam, and I may be completely off base. Imams, where are you when we need you?

former law student said...

Modern day Westerners don't burn with the fervor of their forebears:
Christian nations used to burn heretics at the stake because they jeopardized the eternal lives of others -- only the cynicism of the present day prevents this. As for Americans -- it's been a long time since New England governments hanged Quakers for their obduracy.

JohnTaylor88 said...

Note the eye-plucking, which Huckabee cited last night in saying you shouldn't take all this stuff literally.

I like how you glossed over the part about how reasonable persons can disagree as to the severity of punishment. Meaning eye-plucking is irrelevant, whether taken literally or not.

George said...

Cedarford--

In the slums of Cairo, Riyadh, and Teheran, there are not that many "secular" schools, or at least what Americans would define as secular.

With the exception of Westernized wealthy elites, most Arabs are at the mercy of government-controlled media and imams. Poverty (which goes hand in glove with ignorance) in Egypt, Iran, and even Saudi Arabia is incredible.

As for the Saudi foreign minister not shaking hands with a person of the Jewish persuasion, there is a distinction between the Arab Israeli and Korean conflicts. The North Koreans do not have a 1,500 year old religious-based blood hatred of South Koreans.Saudi/Wahhabi ideology teaches that Jews are pigs and apes. It is repulsive. If he is behaving 'diplomatically' by refusing to touch the flesh of another human being, then I guess the Nazis gave Jews a warm reception at Auschwitz, too.

JohnTaylor88 said...

Yes, there were periods in western history when we have not been civilized, but why should that mean we must tolerate barbarity in our midst?

It isn't your midst. You don't live in Sudan and Sudan isn't your country. I'm sure many Sudanese think your belief in female superiority is barbaric and disgusting.

JohnTaylor88 said...

"if she purposefully sought to brainwash children into blaspheming and turning away from God, she should be punished."

Just when it seemed that in this permissive, post-modern, multiculti age, nothing could be shocking anymore, along comes JohnTaylor88 with this authentically shocking little comment.


How is that shocking? What's wrong with preventing the corruption of the morals of children? Muslims aren't allowed to care about their children? 15 days in jail is punishment. Again, if you disagree with the severity of the punishment, fine, but not everyone has to tolerate atheist rabblerousing.

Simon said...

Rev - well, Mary Whitehouse is an interesting character; I always used to think that she was a nasty old bat, and that her progeny - the watershed -was one of the worst imaginable examples of tongue-clucking prudish nanny statism, but alas, one of the more painful realizations I made having moved to America (not to mention having become a parent) was that damned if the old witch wasn't on to something. And in fact, I've come to think that there are several good reasons why American television would benefit hugely from the FCC imposing a similar regulation.

MadisonMan said...

But you just can't imagine a blasphemy prosecution happening in the 70s here, or at least I can't.

Not at the federal level. I don't think it would have surprised me at some state and local levels back in the 70s. Not saying it happened (I haven't done any investigating) -- just that I could imagine it.

Hey said...

What would the imam say? I KEEEEEEEL YOU! http://youtube.com/watch?v=1uwOL4rB-go

There is no textual interpretation of Islam. The reigning school of thought (who will kill you if you disagree, and do so every day around the world) believes that the Koran is the perfect word of god and can only be understood in Arabic. Any attempt to make it an allegory merits death.

We will forever be at war as long as the last Wahabbist breathes. I will not go gently into death so as to appease my enemies. If safeguarding the West and Israel means saturation nuclear bombardment from Morocco to the Southern Philippines, then so be it. We are rapidly approaching the day where the Ummah will have more nuclear power than they know what to do with.

We must hold each and every individual muslim and each government responsible for the actions of them all. They claim to be one nation, one people, so they must all be responsible for their actions. If they are unable or unwilling to act in a civilised manner, then they must be dealt with.

JohnTaylor88 said...

it seems obvious to me that if your religious theory doesn't provide for treating women as equals, you need a new theory.

Yes, but you aren't a Muslim, and chances are you aren't interpreting Islam faithfully. People can have different conceptions of equality. And what is equality to you might be corrupt and evil to others. And what is gender apartheid to you might fit someone else's conception of equality. I recall a debate in which some feminist insisted that all polygamy subordinates women, and she had no response to the fact that a Harvard educated Iraqi female politician was advocating polygamy to promote women's interests in Iraq. You don't speak for all people, and that you have contempt for something doesn't necessarily mean that it is legitimate. You might just be a biased xenophobe.

JohnTaylor88 said...

You sir do not qualify for this description.

You, sir, apparently do not know what "if" means.

JohnTaylor88 said...

I would like to hear whether the imams think it matters what their display of religion looks like to outsiders.

Does it matter if the outsiders interpret the Koran in bad faith and blaspheme?

Simon said...

John, that's bullshit moral relativism at its worst - I don't care what they believe. They're wrong, and I think Pogo is being a little too generous in suggesting their barbarity is at least a modern kind of barbarity. I think Newt was exactly correct to suggest that how a country treats women is a threshold inquiry for their admission into the civilized world.

JohnTaylor88 said...

I don't care what they believe.

No, it isn't relativism. It is respect. You lack any respect for these other human beings to order and structure their lives as they see fit, as the above quote shows. You wish to impose your own female supremacist belief system on everyone else. You believe in tyranny. You have no moral high ground from which to criticize anyone's conception of equality. And that is True, with a capital T.

Simon said...

johntaylor88 said...
"[Y]ou aren't a Muslim, and chances are you aren't interpreting Islam faithfully."

That's irrelevant: what I said was that "it seems obvious to me that if your religious theory doesn't provide for treating women as equals, you need a new theory." What matters isn't my theory, it's the theory of those who practice it. If their understanding of Islam facilitates the equal treatment of women, so much the better. If it does not (or worse yet, if a "faithful[]" interpretation of Islam precludes the equal treatment of women), you need a new theory. You don't get to sit at the table and debate this. You recognize the equality of women as a prerequisite to be at the table, and that can go for the baptists as much as it does the sufis, so far as I'm concerned.


"People can have different conceptions of equality."

Of course they can. You can argue that you can put anything you like after the = sign in "2+2=" but that doesn't mean every conception of what two plus two is equal to is correct.


"[W]hat is gender apartheid to you might fit someone else's conception of equality. I recall a debate in which some feminist insisted that all polygamy subordinates women, and she had no response to the fact that a Harvard educated Iraqi female politician was advocating polygamy to promote women's interests in Iraq."

The feminist was correct; the politician was wrong. Polygamy is so close to being per se discriminatory as to be indistinguishable. It really is as simple as that. Not every idea deserves the dignity of being taken seriously.

Pogo said...

Modern barbarians:

Envision Attila the Hun with a cellphone and learning to fly a Piper Cub.


John, that's textbook moral relativism. I think you misunderstand the term completely.

Simon said...

John, no one who takes the position that someone should be executed for "disrespecting" a religious figure deserves respect. No one who advocates that women are inferior to men deserves respect. This portion of the program is over.

knoxwhirled said...

These are human beings. They have minds. Islam has involved competing interpretations over the centuries, and it is susceptible to a process of improvement by better interpretation.

You give them the credit and the humanity to be able to change their minds... shouldn't the very same humanity preclude the sort of behavior they engage in regularly? Over many centuries, over many continents, in different countries, the brutality is a constant. At some point, you have to say, "Yes, I know they are human. I know they have the ability to reason. Nevertheless they continue to engage in this behavior, and--some of them--even to attack/kill others who don't choose to live this way." And they do so unchecked, and often funded by their leaders or their mosques!

So.... when do you give up? I'm not saying it's time yet, but it's damn close. I'd it's right around when Iran goes nuclear.

We used to whip people in this country too... and punish for blasphemy. We got over it.

We have traditions--both religious and secular-- that made this behavior ultimately unacceptable. A bloody war was fought to end slavery. No one forced us to, we stopped it ourselves, and many lives lost doing so. And our country's only 230 years old! No comparison.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Well, John, a lot of Muslims strongly disagree with the whole idea of this woman being punished at all. And they've gone on record calling the prosecution ridiculous, so that sort of shoots your claim that non-Muslims are not interpreting things correctly down the drain. Unless you are sole arbiter of who and who isn't a good Muslim.

It was a political prosecution plain and simple.

knoxwhirled said...

You lack any respect for these other human beings to order and structure their lives as they see fit, as the above quote shows.

Be glad you're not a woman, living in one of these godforsaken places.

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...

"While the Hindu elaborates his argument, the Moslem sharpens his sword."
—Winston Churchill

From 180 years earlier:

But would we know, whether the pretended Prophet had really attained a just sentiment of morals? Let us attend to his narration; and we shall soon find, that he bestows praise on such instances of treachery, inhumanity, cruelty, revenge, bigotry, as are utterly incompatible with civilized society. No steady rule of right seems there to be attended to; and every action is blamed or praised, so far only as it is beneficial or hurtful to the true believers.
—David Hume, "Of the Standard of Taste," 1757

rhhardin said...

So, what happens to the bear?

rhhardin said...

Islam, as far as I can tell, operates like organized crime.

Local strongmen too strong to oppose are not opposed. Once they're clearly on the losing side, you start getting friends.

Losing side means they're killed off.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

rhhardin: The prosecutor is probably taking him home to his children. I doubt he will be giving it to the boy who actually named the bear after himself (his name is Muhammed).Of course, no one is talking about prosecuting him for insulting Islam, inciting religious hatred and contempt for religious beliefs because he has a get out of jail free pass: he's a bleiever.

But the school is closed indefinitely and that accomplishes the larger goal: keeping the locals separated from their unwholesome foreign-born non-believer fellow students.

former law student said...

Of course, no one is talking about prosecuting [the boy] for insulting Islam, inciting religious hatred and contempt for religious beliefs because he has a get out of jail free pass: he's a bleiever.

I would say the boy is not being prosecuted because he is a child, subject to the authority of his teacher. The fault is the teacher's, not the child.

Unless, you're advocating that schoolchildren should make a practice of challenging their teacher's authority. But I think ultimately that would be harder on the teacher.

Simon said...

BTW, anyone else notice the latent misogyny in John's comments. I doubt he would be so sanguine about "different conceptions of equality," so concerned to show "respect" for these people's right to "structure their lives as they see fit" if these people were hlding men in actual slavery rather than women in quasi-slave conditions, or so squeamish about "impos[ing]" our own anti-slavery "belief system on everyone else." But after all, it's only women who are being made victims here, and we wouldn't want to appear to be "biased xenophobe[s]" now, would we. As long as it's women bearing the brunt rather than men, John is perfectly happy to hide behind platitudinous conceits such as "what is equality to you might be corrupt and evil to others" - a line even Anthony Kennedy would reject as excessively hubristic.

Revenant said...

It isn't your midst. You don't live in Sudan and Sudan isn't your country.

I live in San Diego. Sudan is closer to me, today, than San Francisco would have been a century ago.

If Sudan were just some backwater shithole with no influence on the world -- like it was for, oh, most of history -- that would be one thing. Unfortunately the fruitcakes that populate the fundamentalist Muslim nations of the world are able to leave their countries and travel to other places with ease. That means their beliefs and behavior matter.

I'm sure many Sudanese think your belief in female superiority is barbaric and disgusting.

Maybe. But they're wrong to think that women are inferior, whereas I'm right to think that they aren't.

JohnTaylor88 said...

But they're wrong to think that women are inferior, whereas I'm right to think that they aren't.

1. I was talking to Simon, who has actually stated that he believes women are superior to men; not being rhetorical.

2. I doubt many Muslims believe that women are inferior. They just believe men and women are different, and equal respect, concern, and dignity must take that into account.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Former law student, as Muslim countries are known to still hang minors for being gay, and whip children for minor minor infraction, yes I am saying that it is quite odd that the boy is not being punished. Are you seriously arguing that they don't as a matter of course fail to make such distinctions as we might under our legal code in the US? Give me a break. Their sorry record is there for all to see. I suppose you think they give the kids a pass in their genocidal campaigns in the south as well.

The boy named the bear. Not the teacher. According to the tin pot dictators in control of Sudan, that was a serious crime. How unfortunate for them that they discovered that the teacher was not the one who named the bear.

JohnTaylor88 said...

BTW, anyone else notice the latent misogyny in John's comments.

Huh? Given that you actually believe that women are superior to men, anything I say that doesn't toe the female supremacist line probably is "misogynistic" to you. Everything that isn't obsequious and knee-crooked is misogynistic to you.

And, for the record, I don't think Islam inherently enslaves women. That is a bigoted statement, as I am sure many well-educated and proudly burka-wearing Muslims would tell you. Slavery is one thing, but your bigoted, skewed opinion of "quasi-slavery-like conditions" is another.

JohnTaylor88 said...

Be glad you're not a woman, living in one of these godforsaken places.

Spoken like a non-Muslim!

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

2. I doubt many Muslims believe that women are inferior. They just believe men and women are different, and equal respect, concern, and dignity must take that into account.

Oh yes. That explains why wife-beating is endemic in those places then. And honor-killings. And death sentences for apostates like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Just a tad different way of viewing things. That's all. Nothing to see here. Move along. You are quite the advocate for cultural relativism. And such a sterling apologist for barbarity, cruelty, and ignorance. I need to wash my hands of you now. Fortunately, your stench will come off mine. Don't bother washing yours, though, like Lady MacBeth you won't be able to get those spots out. The blood of others whose torturers and murderers you choose to support and defend will always be with you. I hope it haunts your dreams until your dying day and that you end up as much a wretch as those whose lives you willingly aid and abet in destroying.

JohnTaylor88 said...

You recognize the equality of women as a prerequisite to be at the table

At yet you reject the Harvard educated female Iraqi politician's views, even though she had the support of many Iraqi women. I guess they just don't know to think for themselves. They need a big, strong Simon to come in a tell them how to think. Because any woman who supports polygamy must not know how to add 2 plus 2.

Some feminist you are.

JohnTaylor88 said...

That explains why wife-beating is endemic in those places then. And honor-killings. And death sentences for apostates like Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

These are really different things.

All apostates are given death sentences. That's not a male-female issue. Salman Rushdie is not a woman.

Honor-killings happen to men, too, and so do severe punishments.

I am not going to support wife-beating. But there is a difference between slapping someone on the behind and knocking someone's head through a wall. Often the two are conflated. There was a huge media uproar about an imam counseling men to do the former and the Western media pilloried him as if he had advocated the latter. That's just bias. Especially since in Western countries there are signs up in public that warn men if they catcall women, they will be slapped. "Hey baby" = misandrist assault? Are you up in arms about this? Is our culture thus barbaric and immoral?

JohnTaylor88 said...

The blood of others whose torturers and murderers you choose to support and defend will always be with you.

I'm guessing you supported the Iraq war, right?

JohnTaylor88 said...

Well, John, a lot of Muslims strongly disagree with the whole idea of this woman being punished at all. And they've gone on record calling the prosecution ridiculous

Nothing I have written is inconsistent with that. If anything, it shows how biased and off-base Simon's xenophobic and male-bashing comments are. My point was only that a reasonable person can see that punishing someone for blaspheming can be legitimate, without all these ancillary issues of feminism and inferior moral culture coming into play. Which by the way, is not saying this particular woman actually blasphemed or should have been punished in this case.

rhhardin said...

I am a bear of very little brain.

- Mohammed the Pooh

former law student said...

Former law student, as Muslim countries are known to still hang minors for being gay, and whip children for minor minor infraction, yes I am saying that it is quite odd that the boy is not being punished.

It seems odd only because you have not familiarized yourself with Islamic law. Under Sharia law, a child does not take on adult responsibilities until he reaches puberty, which most jurists set at 15 years of age, while the Maliki set it at 18. A child below seven is presumed incapable of understanding the difference between right and wrong or good and bad. A child between seven and puberty has an imperfect understanding. Therefore, the only punishments allowed at this stage are a reprimand or a beating. Only when puberty is reached does a minor assume full responsibility for his crimes, and must accept full punishment. Note that the offending boy here was seven years old, and thus close to the age of total irresponsibility, thus he'd likely receive only a scolding:

However, a boy of seven came forward on Tuesday to say it was "all his fault", as he and his classmates at the Unity High School had voted to call the bear Mohammed after his own name.

Revenant said...

2. I doubt many Muslims believe that women are inferior.

Some people doubt that the Earth revolves around the sun. Doubt away.

They just believe men and women are different, and equal respect, concern, and dignity must take that into account.

You really know nothing about Islam or the Muslim world. Why am I spending time talking to you?

Simon said...

JohnTaylor88 said...
"Simon ... has actually stated that he believes women are superior to men...."

I don't remember saying that, but I certainly wouldn't shy away from it, so I'll happily stipulate it for the time being.

"I doubt many Muslims believe that women are inferior. They just believe men and women are different, and equal respect, concern, and dignity must take that into account."

I doubt anyone but a few benighted holdouts deny that men and women are different. But recognizing and taking into account those differences is no basis whatsoever for how Islamic societies and their colonies in the west treat women. It's no defense at all.

And if you're willing to concede that you wouldn't be so sanguine if these countries were practicing slavery rather than gender apartheid (which I take your comment that "Slavery is one thing" as an oh-so-coyly admission of), you just blew an irreparable hole in your own morally relativistic hull. You're admitting that if what was under discussion was slavery in these countries, you'd be on my side of the argument, because if these people were taking slaves, that'd offend even your atrophied sense of decency. Happily, though, they aren't taking slaves: it's only women's rights at issue, and where that's all that's at stake, you're perfectly happy to hide behind that cowardly bullshit moral relativism, to hide behind a claimed need to "respect" the "diversity" of those we disagree with - unless and until, of course, they do something that infringes on something you actually care about. Which plainly doesn't include women's rights, which you might get away with claiming indifference towards, but not (credibly, at least) support.

"[You say that one must recognize the equality of women as a prerequisite to be at the table, and] yet you reject the Harvard educated female Iraqi politician's views, even though she had the support of many Iraqi women."

What do you call a black man who argued for slavery in antebellum America? A man arguing for slavery.

"Some feminist you are."

I don't claim to be a feminist. If I did, heterodoxy not being something that modern feminism is keen to embrace, they'd perhaps assault my reputation the way they go after Ann's. I'm sympathetic to (2d wave) feminism, but I chart my own course.

If you defend what these countries are doing, you align yourself with apartheid era South Africa and those Americans who defended and fought to preserve slavery. Call me when you meet the minimum requirements for readmission to the human race, which involves, as a prerequisite, grasping that a society that treats women as chattel or cattle is not fit for admission to civilization.

Simon said...

former law student said...
"Under Sharia law, a child does not take on adult responsibilities until he reaches puberty, which most jurists set at 15 years of age ... [at which point] a minor assume[s] full responsibility for his crimes, and must accept full punishment."

Well, gosh, it's a good job that our foreign law enthusiasts on the court aren't looking at this foreign law!

Palladian said...

I wonder what JohnTaylor88's Muslim name is?

Doug Sundseth said...

"My point was only that a reasonable person can see that punishing someone for blaspheming can be legitimate...."

No reasonable person can see anything of the sort.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

John, you're nothing more than an apologist for the subjugation of women, for a system of institutionalized infantilization and terror. If a woman who dares to speak up is threatened with death, that's fine with you. If a woman who refuses to be beaten at the whim of her husband loses her children and is never allowed to see them again, you are all for it. It stetches credibility to maintain that male honor killings happen with any frequency, John. Unless you are talking about what happens when a 13-year-old boy is discovered enjoying sex with another boy. Then that's only right, as far as you are concerned. Of course, when the king of Saudi Arabia was importing young boys from all over the world to bugger that was A-OK because Faisal was the king. Besides, that didn't count as gay sex in his book, the book, or your book I'm sure.

knoxwhirled said...

I wonder what JohnTaylor88's Muslim name is?

...what I was suspecting after his first 2 comments.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Oh, I don't know, palladian and knoxwhirled, he reminds me a lot of two people whose writings I have read much of over the years on a stock investment BB (believe it or not!). Neither are Muslims but both are apologists extraordinaire. They firmly believe in cultural relativism when they aren't bashing American society. As both have led lives safely ensconced in the ivory tower, they firmly believe in it (provided, of course, that American culture comes out looking somewhat inferior). Needless to say, like Noam Chomsky, they only apply these principles to others, never themselves or their own privileged positions.

Revenant said...

a reasonable person can see that punishing someone for blaspheming can be legitimate

Apparently in John's word there is no such thing as a reasonable atheist or agnostic.

George said...

Former law student...

The European child surely won't be punished, but it's possible his father might be held responsible, and the entire family deported.

At least, this is (or used to be) the practice in Saudi Arabia. Group punishment for the misdeeds of one of its members.

Beth said...

At yet you reject the Harvard educated female Iraqi politician's views, even though she had the support of many Iraqi women. I guess they just don't know to think for themselves.

You haven't presented these views in any detail, only referred to them vaguely. And I don't take the views of Radcliffe-educated Phyliss Schlafly and her fellow travelers in the Eagle Forum, or the Concerned Women for America seriously either, even though I'm quite certain they're capable of thinking for themselves. They just think stupid thoughts.

This is not to say that there are no Islamic feminists, that the wearing of a burqa is inherently something that I can judge for another woman, and so on.

What I do mean is that being feminist, believing in the equality and dignity of every human being, and valuing diversity do not add up to my believing that each religious practice, cultural value or political system is equally good and deserving of respect.

Beth said...

My point was only that a reasonable person can see that punishing someone for blaspheming can be legitimate

How are you communicating with us here in the future, from your cubicle back in the 11th century? Have I wandered into a black hole?

The words "reasonable" and "punish blasphemy" don't work in the same sentence, nor can I see how they occupy space in the same brain.

JohnTaylor88 said...

This is not to say that there are no Islamic feminists, that the wearing of a burqa is inherently something that I can judge for another woman, and so on.

Thanks. It seems someone around here recognizes that her opinions are just that.

JohnTaylor88 said...

The words "reasonable" and "punish blasphemy" don't work in the same sentence, nor can I see how they occupy space in the same brain.

That's your opinion. If the culture is religious, and blasphemy is not tolerated, it makes perfect sense to punish someone for blaspheming. The argument, as I have said before, then comes down to how severe the punishment is. Certainly you wouldn't chide Muslims for ostracizing blasphemers?

paul a'barge said...

I'm sure by now we all realize that back in the late '30's and early '40's, JohnTaylor88 was standing at the gates to the gas chambers in Nazi Germany telling everyone that killing Jews was just the German way and that no one had a right to judge the Nazis.

Remember this JohnTaylor88, after we kicked German ass in WWII, the American military forced the German townspeople to walk the concentration camps and look at what was done in their name.

The Muslims in the Sudan are no better.

Come the victory over Islamic Fascism, there will be a ticket with your name on it at the entrance.

Bring your vomit bowl because you're going to need it.

mrs whatsit said...

John, you wrote: "At yet you reject the Harvard educated female Iraqi politician's views, even though she had the support of many Iraqi women. I guess they just don't know to think for themselves. Some feminist you are."

So, if someone disagrees with a woman -- any woman, anywhere -- then that person can't be a feminist? I have to agree with every single woman who ever thought any thought, anywhere, or else I'm sexist?? Oh wait, maybe it's just Harvard-educated women I have to agree with? Or Harvard-educated women who are Iraqis? Or is it Harvard-educated women who are Iraqis and with whom some other Iraqi women agree? Could I still be a feminist if I disagree with a Harvard-educated woman who is a Hottentot and with whom some Hindu women agree?

Probably not. But in any case, my head is spinning. I can't keep up with the "logic" here. Must be because I'm female -- my poor little womanly brain just isn't up to the task.

JohnTaylor88 said...

Apparently in John's word there is no such thing as a reasonable atheist or agnostic.

This has nothing to do with anything that I said. No, you are not reasonable.

If a woman who dares to speak up is threatened with death, that's fine with you. If a woman who refuses to be beaten at the whim of her husband loses her children and is never allowed to see them again, you are all for it.

Don't bother reading what I actually wrote. No, don't contend with that. Just make up ridiculous positions that I don't hold and attack those. Because that makes you feel better about yourself. Welcome to adolescence.

I don't remember saying that, but I certainly wouldn't shy away from it,

You said it months ago.

I doubt anyone but a few benighted holdouts deny that men and women are different.

Thanks. Then you concede that one can have different social arrangements based on how to best respect those differences.

What do you call a black man who argued for slavery in antebellum America?

That is fallacious and stupid. The Iraqi politician promoting polygamy believed that marriage confers benefits on women, social, economic, psychological, etc., and in the wake of a war that depleted the population of marriageable men, there were only so many men to go around. Her suggestion was to spread each man around to a number of women for their benefit, not to enslave them. But you just can't conceputalize polygamy as anything other than slavery, because you're a biased ideologue who doesn't respect other people's points of view.

Happily, though, they aren't taking slaves: it's only women's rights at issue, and where that's all that's at stake, you're perfectly happy to hide behind that cowardly bullshit moral relativism,

I suppose this is one way to be cognitively dissonant, but the more likely reality is that I'm simply not a moral relativist, and I think you're a xenophobe who is close-minded, overbearing, and uses self-serving definitions to beg the question. Your interpretation of what is going on in these countries is suspect. I don't think women's rights are worthless, I think Iraqi women, for example, have the right to define their own destiny, whether you approve of it or not.

If you defend what these countries are doing, you align yourself with apartheid era South Africa and those Americans who defended and fought to preserve slavery.

Um, no. I just don't buy your gender apartheid claims, which are overblown, riduclous rhetoric. You aren't accurately describing what occurs in "these countries" because you're a hypersensitive female supremacist. I simply don't buy your factual claims.

I'm sure by now we all realize that back in the late '30's and early '40's, JohnTaylor88 was standing at the gates to the gas chambers in Nazi Germany telling everyone that killing Jews was just the German way and that no one had a right to judge the Nazis.

Yes, because women wearing hair coverings is equivalent to genocide.

Revenant said...

If the culture is religious, and blasphemy is not tolerated, it makes perfect sense to punish someone for blaspheming.

You mean it makes perfect sense to that culture. But that culture, itself, doesn't make sense.

Paco Wové said...

"Certainly you wouldn't chide Muslims for ostracizing blasphemers?"

Certainly I would. All effing day long. So now we can't even chide behaviors we find vile, "because it's their culture!"? Well, screw that. They are barbarians, and you are an apologist for them.

Revenant said...

"Apparently in John's word there is no such thing as a reasonable atheist or agnostic."

This has nothing to do with anything that I said. No, you are not reasonable.

It has everything to do with what you said. You see, John, Allah doesn't actually exist. Ergo prosecuting someone for offending "Allah" cannot be a reasonable activity. It is precisely equivalent to prosecuting someone because the grapefruit you had for breakfast this morning doesn't like his haircut.

On the more agnostic side, Allah's existence cannot be demonstrated and his will cannot be known. Therefore prosecuting someone for offending him or contradicting his will is impossible -- like calling someone's guilt based on the result of a coin toss that nobody actually gets to see land.

JohnTaylor88 said...

Certainly I would.

I see. So Muslims lack freedom of association.

You mean it makes perfect sense to that culture. But that culture, itself, doesn't make sense.

To you.

Some great defenders of the First Amendment we got here tonight, Ann!

Beth said...

Certainly you wouldn't chide Muslims for ostracizing blasphemers?

Do you mean officially, as an act of the state, or rather as a particular mosque "ostracizing" one of its parishioners? If you mean as an act of state, of law, then, yes, sure I would indeed chide any government for doing that, Muslim or other.

JohnTaylor88 said...

It is precisely equivalent to prosecuting someone because the grapefruit you had for breakfast this morning doesn't like his haircut.

Well, nice to know you respect other people's rights to religious belief and form their own associations. I suppose freedom to you means "rule by condescending atheists".

Revenant said...

You aren't accurately describing what occurs in "these countries" because you're a hypersensitive female supremacist.

In John's world, only "hypersensitive female supremacists" object to the execution of female rape victims. Moderates recognize that it is reasonable to believe that those women deservef what they got.

JohnTaylor88 said...

If you mean as an act of state, of law,

Why? Some states are theocratic. Sharia law is Islamic law. The split you suggest is there, isn't.

No one is allowed to form a state that you disagree with? Why not?

I guess I shouldn't be able to eat meat at my own dinner table, then, because you're a crusading vegetarian.

JohnTaylor88 said...

In John's world, only "hypersensitive female supremacists" object to the execution of female rape victims.

??? You're an idiot. Did you miss the part about severe punishments being meted out to both genders?

Harsh punishment culture is not the same as sexist culture.

Revenant said...

Well, nice to know you respect other people's rights to religious belief and form their own associations.

Muslims are free to believe what they want. They just all happen to be wrong.

They are not free to impose their beliefs on free human beings just because those human beings were unlucky enough to be born into a society that has a lot of Muslims in it.

JohnTaylor88 said...

They are not free to impose their beliefs on free human beings just because those human beings were unlucky enough to be born into a society that has a lot of Muslims in it.

Well, then you're not free to impose your beliefs on free Muslims just because you were lucky enough to be born into a country with superior firepower and economic heft. I guess you should just shut up, then.

Revenant said...

Harsh punishment culture is not the same as sexist culture.

You're defending nations and cultures that are "harsh punishment cultures". Sure, you deny that they are such, but your denial of reality doesn't change what reality is.

Paco Wové said...

"you're not free to impose your beliefs on free Muslims ... I guess you should just shut up, then."

John, you seem (I say seem, because I find this idea so absurd that I'm thinking that you're just trolling us) to think that by our merely expressing disapproval and negative judgements about what People A are doing, that we are somehow infringing on their rights and imposing our beliefs. How did you come up with that?

JohnTaylor88 said...

You're defending nations and cultures that are "harsh punishment cultures".

No, I'm pointing out that a regime that harshly punishes men and women isn't the same as a regime that only punishes women harshly.

It isn't a defense of harshness; it's just a refutation of your inaccuracies about how "sexist" these cultures are. They're harsh and punitive. But that doesn't necessarily make them misogynist.

JohnTaylor88 said...

by our merely expressing disapproval and negative judgements about what People A are doing, that we are somehow infringing on their rights and imposing our beliefs.

Punishment can be defined as a community "merely expressing disapproval and negative judgements about what People A are doing". And most people would say that urging your government to invade a country may result in "infringing on ... rights and imposing [y]our beliefs".

Revenant said...

Well, then you're not free to impose your beliefs on free Muslims just because you were lucky enough to be born into a country with superior firepower and economic heft.

You forgot superior morals, ethics, and understanding of human rights.

But who exactly am I "imposing my will" on? If I prevent X from inflicting punishment on Y, I'm only "inflicting my will" on another culture if Y shares the cultural belief that her alleged offense merits the punishment she's receiving. If she doesn't share that cultural belief, then all I'm doing by preventing the punishment is preventing X from forcing THEIR culture on Y.

Just because a person was born in Saudi Arabia doesn't mean that they buy in to all that Muslim crap. Just because a woman was born in Iran doesn't mean she believes that women really should be treated as inferior to men.

Revenant said...

No, I'm pointing out that a regime that harshly punishes men and women isn't the same as a regime that only punishes women harshly.

There is no Muslim culture that punishes men and women with equal harshness. Women are always punished worse. So go right on ahead defending "a regime that harshly punishes men and women", but you might as well defend the ruling regime of Candyland because that doesn't exist either.

JohnTaylor88 said...

You forgot superior morals, ethics, and understanding of human rights.

Wow. Not an ethnocentric xenophobe at all! America is better simply because it is America! And waterboarding is not torture, either!

Just because a person was born in Saudi Arabia doesn't mean that they buy in to all that Muslim crap.

Well, then, I shouldn't have to pay a fine when I speed, because I don't believe in speeding!

former law student said...

If the culture is religious, and blasphemy is not tolerated, it makes perfect sense to punish someone for blaspheming.

You mean it makes perfect sense to that culture. But that culture, itself, doesn't make sense.


This is exactly right. Muslim culture makes no sense to us, no more than would the culture of the Plymouth colony. Neither would even U.S. culture of the 1950s, any more.

Revenant said...

Punishment can be defined as a community "merely expressing disapproval and negative judgements about what People A are doing".

A dog can be defined as a cat. That doesn't make it one.

JohnTaylor88 said...

There is no Muslim culture that punishes men and women with equal harshness. Women are always punished worse.

You have no empirical support for this. This is what I mean by bias.

JohnTaylor88 said...

A dog can be defined as a cat. That doesn't make it one.

Except punishment is commonly defined that way. For instance, by Kant, who is one of the heroes of the Enlightenment that supposedly makes us better than Moslems.

Paco Wové said...

"And most people would say that urging your government to invade a country..."

Wait a minute ... who's talking about invading Sudan over this?

Trooper York said...

Spock: "Captain, our information on these people and their culture is not correct. This is not a primitive society making progress toward mechanization. They are totally stagnant. There is no evidence of any progress as far back as my tricorder can register."
Kirk: "That doesn't seem likely."
Spock: "Nevertheless, it is true. For thousands of years, there's been absolutely no advancement, no significant change in their physical and moral environments. This is a laboratory specimen of an arrested culture."
Kirk: "Thank you, Mister Spock, that might be useful."
("Errand Of Mercy", Stardate 3198.4 Star Trek the Original Series)

JohnTaylor88 said...

Muslim culture makes no sense to us,

No, it makes no sense to you because you are ignorant and biased. I am sure if you took a course on Islamic law your viewpoint would change.

Revenant said...

Muslim culture makes no sense to us, no more than would the culture of the Plymouth colony. Neither would even U.S. culture of the 1950s, any more.

When I say "that culture doesn't make sense", I mean that that culture isn't rational. I don't mean that I can't make sense of it. Making sense of a society that treats women like chattel is easy for anyone who has read a history book or two during their lives. That has been the normal state for women throughout pretty much all of human history.

If you believe invisible pink elephants demand that you kill your mom, killing your mom "makes sense" -- within the context of your beliefs, which are nonsensical.

JohnTaylor88 said...

Wait a minute ... who's talking about invading Sudan over this?

Oh, no? I thought you all were supporters of invading Sudan to prevent the genocide in Darfur and supporters of invading Afghanistan and Iraq to liberate the Iraqi women? You mean you're all just hypocrites who are all talk and no action?

JohnTaylor88 said...

When I say "that culture doesn't make sense", I mean that that culture isn't rational.

But you know that isn't true. As I already showed, it is rational: "If the culture is religious, and blasphemy is not tolerated, it makes perfect sense to punish someone for blaspheming."

Palladian said...

Hey JohnAbuBinTayor88,

Your favorite stone-age religion (and the countries that enshrine its doctrine into their laws) execute faggots like me.

I'm curious what excuse you can muster to defend such barbarism, and eager to be chided for being "xenophobic" for daring to criticize it.

Paco Wové said...

"...invading Afghanistan and Iraq to liberate the Iraqi women?"

Ok, you just crossed the delusional fool threshold. I have no more time for you.

Palladian said...

It sounds like JohnAbuBinTayor88 is studying for his Cultural Relativism exam at Brown University. Or maybe his final in Submission: A Guilty Opressor's Guide To Bending Over and Taking It at Berkeley.

Revenant said...

Wow. Not an ethnocentric xenophobe at all! America is better simply because it is America!

No. America -- and most other Western nations -- are better because of our superior values, not just "because we are America". And recognizing the inferiority of Muslim culture no more makes me "xenophobic" than recognizing the moral inferiority of a rapist makes me misanthropic.

Well, then, I shouldn't have to pay a fine when I speed, because I don't believe in speeding!

Your belief that speeding doesn't pose a threat to other people's lives is objectively wrong.

Except punishment is commonly defined that way.

No, it isn't.

For instance, by Kant, who is one of the heroes of the Enlightenment that supposedly makes us better than Moslems.

If you think Kant defined punishment as "a community merely expressing disapproval and negative judgements about what People A are doing" then you've never read Kant. He was quite clear that punishing people simply because society disapproved of them, or would be aided by their punishment, was never, ever justified.

In closing, I'd like to express my amusement at your continual whining about torture, which is accepted in every Muslim culture.

Revenant said...

Your favorite stone-age religion (and the countries that enshrine its doctrine into their laws) execute faggots like me.

And atheists like me. Although the "liberal" Muslim nations are usually nice enough to just throw us in prison.

But oh, I forgot. It is "xenophobic" for me to consider a culture inferior for wanting me put to death just for who I am. I should be more accepting; meet them halfway, maybe. Like I could say I believe in Allah, and they'll let me off with just an ass-kicking.

tjl said...

"all talk and no action"

Let's hope JohnTaylor88 is in fact all talk and no action. Otherwise someone had better check his wives for bruises.

Revenant said...

Heh, follow the chain of arguments. John starts off with:

most people would say that urging your government to invade a country may result in "infringing on ... rights and imposing [y]our beliefs".

It turns out that that's a reference to:

I thought you all were supporters of invading Sudan to prevent the genocide in Darfur

Here, then, is John's line of what I will be so generous as to call "reasoning":

(1): We oppose Muslims forcing their culture on others.
(2): We want to prevent genocide.
(3): Preventing genocide IS, according to John, a way of forcing your culture on others.

Therefore... we're hypocrites or something.

Yeah, John -- wanting to prevent the murder of millions of people is just like wanting to force women to wear burquas. How clever of you to spot the similarity.

Simon said...

JohnTaylor88 said...
"Certainly you wouldn't chide Muslims for ostracizing blasphemers?"

Would you chide them for keeping slaves?

"[I doubt anyone but a few benighted holdouts deny that men and women are different.] Thanks. Then you concede that one can have different social arrangements based on how to best respect those differences."

I can't concede what I never denied. Of course there are a range of different yet valid "social arrangements based on how to best respect those differences" - but that does not mean that any social arrangement arising from those differences is valid (to suggest that it is simply because more than one can be is logically untenable), and it certainly doesn't mean that misogyny dressed up in the excuse of respect for differences is acceptable.

"That is fallacious and stupid. The Iraqi politician promoting polygamy believed that marriage confers benefits on women, social, economic, psychological, etc.,"

And our notional black man arguing for slavery believes that marriage confers benefits on women, social, economic, psychological, etc. Sen. Moynihan used to say that everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts; that someone believes something doesn't make it right or worthy of respect. Flat earthers do not deserve respect. Nazis do not deserve respect. Slavers (black, white or any other color) do not deserve respect. And neither do polygamists and their enablers.

"[Y]ou're a biased ideologue who doesn't respect other people's points of view."

I respect many points of view that I don't share - what I do not do is accord respect to any point of view simply because someone happens to hold it. And if you really think it's good policy to do otherwise, you really are exemplifying the old saw about a liberal being someone so open minded that their brain fell out.

"I don't think women's rights are worthless...."

Didn't say you did. I said you're at best indifferent to them; I don't need to nail down where exactly beyond the pale you've made your domicile once I know you're outside the perimeter. You've already made quite clear that if it were slavery that was happening, you'd think that was apalling. But when your cultural sensibilities aren't offended, when it's "only" women's rights at stake, you preach multiculturalism.

George said...

It's a teddy bear.

That's really what makes it so shocking.

To be whipped for mis-naming a teddy bear.

But the truth of it is that Mrs. Gibbons' story is not unusual. She is lucky, though, because she is British.

Here's a guy you've never heard of...Ghorban Tori...Iranian...converted to Christianity...became a minister...
kidnapped...stabbed to death...
body thrown on his doorstep...

Follow the link and read what Ahmadinejad said about Christians in Iran.

If any of us posting here lived in Iran and were Iranians, we'd be waiting for the knock on the door.

Chip Ahoy said...

Well. At least they don't intend to waterboard the poor dear.

It's not the slightest bit ironic in this stupidest of nations in the most backward of all settled continents, practicing the dumbest of all global religions, that the solution to the Mrs Gibbons' problem might come in the form of a little boy chirping, "It's all my fault!" And of course it need be a boy.

former law student said...

When I say "that culture doesn't make sense", I mean that that culture isn't rational.

Most likely it's the culture's assumptions that don't make sense, yet the conclusions were rationally obtained from the stated assumptions.

If, for example, you believe that your faith guarantees your eternal life, you would support the burning of those who might sway you from the true path. If you believe that Jews are a species of rodent, you would support their extermination. If you believe that menstruation makes women unclean, you would refrain from touching your wife for two weeks every month. Etc.

Beth said...

No one is allowed to form a state that you disagree with?

Silly rhetoric. We go from chiding to disallowing? You're magnificently full of hot air. I am free to condemn Islamic states based on Sharia law. Are you arguing I'm not allowed to do that?

Blue Moon said...

I do believe I am guaranteed eternal life and yet I do not support the killing of those opposed to my faith. The difference between me and the Sudanese authorities is that I am willing to trust God to sort everyone out at the end whereas Khartoum believes in a weak Allah that needs help from people now.

reader_iam said...

If, for example, you believe that your faith guarantees your eternal life, you would support the burning of those who might sway you from the true path.

Bullshit.

Let me rephrase that:

Absolute bullshit.

Fen said...

Ouch. No need to dip my toe into this one.

John, you've managed to unite all the differing factions on this blog against you. Wingnuts and Moonbats unite! Thanks John, we needed that.

reader_iam said...

FLS: Your assumption appears to be that there's only one rational conclusion to be drawn from the premise you presented.

Maybe that's not your assumption. But if it is, I submit that it's faulty.

reader_iam said...

Also, Fen, those who don't fit neatly into either category ... .

reader_iam said...

Or, if you prefer, combine elements of both.

Whatever.

reader_iam said...

"If the culture is religious, and blasphemy is not tolerated, it makes perfect sense to punish someone for blaspheming."

It could also make perfect sense to turn a blind eye, in order not to stir up broader questions and foment larger threats.

For example.

Using "perfect," of course, in the sense that you're using the word.

Fen said...

Also, Fen, those who don't fit neatly into either category ... .

Yah, I meant for it to represent the entire range in between, from Wing Nut [me] to Moonbat. Its refreshing to be with the people I spend most my time arguing against.

Beth said...

Or, if you prefer, combine elements of both.

Batwings? Moonnuts?

reader_iam said...

"Certainly you wouldn't chide Muslims for ostracizing blasphemers?"

I sure as heck would chide--and have chided--fellow Christians for doing that. It's not much of a leap thereafter--especially given how broadly you're apparently defining "ostracizing"--to chide particular, and particularly egregious, examples of theocratic overreach elsewhere.

In fact, it's not a problem at all.

Beth said...

I am underwhelmed by the argument that anything that a system declares makes sense, makes sense within that system.

reader_iam said...

I like "batnuts" myself. Doesn't it seem more like what some of the actual humorists--not referring to myself, first, and, second, intended affectionately, in context--among us would choose?

reader_iam said...

I am underwhelmed by the argument that anything that a system declares makes sense, makes sense within that system.

This brings to mind a confrontation my brother and I had--oh, thirty-so years ago--in which I finally said: "Just because something 'is," does not, in and of itself, justify 'it'."

Weird thing to jump to mind, just now.

reader_iam said...

Speaking of unity, I'm pretty sure everyone will agree that it's darn weird that this thread inspired me to dial up Gilbert & Sullivan as this evening's musical interlude (/diversion).

Gary Rosen said...

C-fudd:

"the Left's curious defense of the harassers of Mrs Gibbons"

That's a laugh. C-fudd has made no condemnation of the "harasssers" (i. e. jailers and would-be torturers) of Mrs. Gibbons. He has only used this incident to vent his antisemitic spleen. C-fudd has been derided out of an excellent blog, Belmont Club, because even those who are not particularly sympathetic to Israel were repulsed by his sweaty, compulsive, nauseating Jew-hatred.

It was quite a laugh to read some of his recent posts where he referred to "New York ACLU lawyers" - it was quite obvious what he really wanted to say. But I knew he didn't have it in him to keep it in his pants and his mania would come bursting out. C-fudd has less self-control than a junkie derelict crawling through the gutter for a fix.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Have I wandered into a black hole?

Yes, Beth you have. Note also that later John equates disagreement with him as violating his right of free speech. Interesting concept - anyone who criticizes John does not believe in the First Amendment. At the same time, John does not believe that First Amendment protection applies to women (unless they are women who cater to his opinion). As he has made quite clear, only John knows the facts. Only John can interpret the facts. Only John can teach others the facts. Only John's way is the path to enlightenment. Oh, Heavens to Betsy, I think John may have a messiah complex. Better be careful John lest you be thought a blasphemer. BTW, John, attended any good stonings recently? How about a good body part removal, John? You know, a nice chopping off of the hand. Your eternal soul is soaked in blood, John.

Beth said...

Batnuts works, but be prepared for innuendo.

Kirk Parker said...

ricpic,

Very nice. Is that yours? If so, kudos. If not, who are you quoting?

FLS,

Actually, just as often it was a "Christian" politician executing heretics because they threatened the order of the state.

Beth,

No, it's Batnuts and Moonwings. Sheesh--don't you people on the other side know anything????? :-)

Beth said...

Kirk, no idea what side you're on, relative to mine. Sorry, I haven't been keeping track.

While we're on the subject, are nutbats tasty in combination with fruitbats? Both sound like they'd go well with chocolate.

Revenant said...

Moonwings and Batnuts sound like they should be available in vending machines, at least in the South.

"Hm, should I get the regular Batnuts or the Spicy BBQ ones?"

reader_iam said...

And now, thanks to a sidetrip to a specific post at The Moderate Voice, I'm listening to the soundtrack from "Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance."

I kid you not. (Really, not.)

I love convergence.

JohnTaylor88 said...

I am free to condemn Islamic states based on Sharia law. Are you arguing I'm not allowed to do that?

No, I'm saying you're a bigot who is ignorant of Islamic law. And that you support invading Islamic countries.

JohnTaylor88 said...

Note also that later John equates disagreement with him as violating his right of free speech.

I argued no such thing.

JohnTaylor88 said...

And our notional black man arguing for slavery believes that marriage confers benefits on women, social, economic, psychological, etc.

See? Your statement above only makes sense if you equate slavery with marriage. Which only goes to show what a crazed female supremacist you are. And, for future reference, when someone calls you a paternalistic bigot, you might try keeping black slaves who can't think for themselves out of your hypotheticals.

But when your cultural sensibilities aren't offended, when it's "only" women's rights at stake, you preach multiculturalism.

No. I don't think women's rights are "at stake". I think that's rhetoric you're flinging around carelessly because you're a biased female supremacist.

Would you chide them for keeping slaves?

Yes, because refusing to associate with an atheist = enslaving another human being.

Yeah, John -- wanting to murder millions of people is just like women wanting to wear burquas. How clever of you to spot the similarity.

Oh. I guess you disagree with Simon, then.

Of course there are a range of different yet valid "social arrangements based on how to best respect those differences"

Right. And the point is you can't seem to see any Islamic social arrangements as valid because your female supremacist bias turns everything into "gender apartheid" and "quasi-slavery" and "indifference to women's rights" when it isn't. You're just a a bigot. Bigotry that arguably promotes the interests of women is still bigotry.

JohnTaylor88 said...

It could also make perfect sense to turn a blind eye, in order not to stir up broader questions and foment larger threats.

Yes, I agree. I wrote before that arguing about the severity of punishment is where the action is.

JohnTaylor88 said...

Your eternal soul is soaked in blood, John.

Spoken like an abortion supporter.

JohnTaylor88 said...

On Kant:

Kant starts Metaphysics of Morals with the definition of "crime" and "the right to punish". In his opinion neither a society, nor a state can exist without laws. If there is no law, there is no society and no state. Therefore enforcement of the law, which is the society's foundation, means protection of the society and the state. Thus, any person violating the law loses the right to be a society member, opposes social order and consequently must be deemed guilty and punished. The right to administer punishment is the right of a ruler to make violators and criminals suffer.

Kant's definition of the crime is derived from the above statements. A crime is a violation of social laws i.e. it is committed against the society and therefore subject to punishment. People who observe the society's laws are the society members, while people who commit crimes lose the right to be the society members and must be punished.



The fact that the goal of punishment is to inflict damage on a criminal makes punishment more like revenge. It means: "eye for eye". This wording can be used to express the concept of fair punishment. Again, this does not imply that punishment is administered for the sake of benefit i.e. in order to teach criminals or the whole society a lesson. Thus a punishment is retribution in a legal form. It must not serve as an instrument to scaring or improve someone, but only to penalize.

Kant absolutely insists on capital punishment of murderers. According to Kant "whoever has committed murder, must die" (Kant, 1996), because no matter how difficult life might be, it is still better than death: "However many they may be who have committed a murder, or have even commanded it, or acted as art and part in it, they ought all to suffer death" (Kant, 1996). A court decision is mandatory for punishing a murderer. A society that does not sentence a murderer to death turns into an accomplice of this crime.

JohnTaylor88 said...

http://www.philosophos.com/philosophy_article_78.html

There's your goddamned Enlightenment, folks: an eye for an eye. Waterboarding for waterboarding. And invading countries when you think the prevailing religion there is inferior.

mrs whatsit said...

John, when various commenters have referred to the equality of women, you have called them "female supremacists." Could you explain the difference between believing that women are equal and believing that women are "supreme," please? Or do you imagine that there isn't one?

And then I'd love to know how "condemning" any particular system of law constitutes bigotry, let alone support for invasion. I strongly disagree with certain parts of the French Napoleonic Code, for instance, and also with various laws in Sweden. Does that make me a bigot all set for an invasion of Europe? Or is it only Muslim law which you believe must not be condemned -- and in that case, we'll have to reconsider exactly which commenter is the bigot.

Pogo said...

John quotes his article correctly but makes an erroneous interpretation by suggesting it has anything at all to do with hanging gay men or beating women who talk to men without permission or killing apostates or sending planes into buildings, behaviors that exist in the many primitive and barbarian cultures extant in the mid East.

What he writes is really reprehensible; so conceived that anything at all is permitted, if only the culture demands it. I can only conclude he is islamofascist himself, or a useful idiot on the left.

Rather disgusting.

rhhardin said...

Tradition is a mixture of usurpation and choice. If it's not imposed by the past, it's not tradition ; nor is it tradition if it's not also chosen in the present.

It's the choice in the present part that marks Muslims as flaming moonbats. Sort of like Democrats, but not so hard on Bush.

JohnTaylor88 said...

by suggesting it has anything at all to do with hanging gay men or beating women who talk to men without permission or killing apostates or sending planes into buildings

Huh? When did I do this?

John, when various commenters have referred to the equality of women, you have called them "female supremacists."

No. Simon has declared himself to believe -- literally -- that women are superior to men. So when he uses phrases like "gender apartheid" and asserts that no Islamic woman can support polygamy under any circumstances without being irrational, I take what he has to say with a grain of salt.

ricpic said...

Kirk Parker,

Thanks for the compliment. Yes, it's mine.

JohnTaylor88 said...

Does that make me a bigot all set for an invasion of Europe?

Uh, I didn't say that bigotry necessarily must result in invasion. I said that some on the bigots on these threads either 1. support invasion of Islamic countries or 2. do not. That is not a hypothetical. We invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, and boast of having liberated millions of women, and many urge us to intervene in Darfur for purportedly humanitarian reasons.

Pogo said...

Huh? When did I do this?

By defending the regimes reponsible for that behavior. Unless you state otherwise, I will assume you support their entire effort. Put up or shut up.

I call bullshit on this genteel representation of what is in essence barbarian rageboy behavior. Cut the crap, John. Either you repudiate Muslims killing apostates and women who get raped and gay men and by terrorism (as occurs repeatedly in murders across the globe done in the name of Islam) or you do not.

It's not a tough question. Yes or no? Support or no? There is no grey. Draw the line for us, clearly, distinctly. Or shut the hell up, man, because I'm tired of playing this jackassed parlor game with fascists who use the words of the Enlightenment not because they believe them, but because we do.

JohnTaylor88 said...

Unless you state otherwise, I will assume you support their entire effort.

That's a fallacy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

JohnTaylor88 said...

There is no grey.

This is a fallacy, too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You're_either_with_us,_or_against_us

Which Bush used to justify invasion of Iraq.

Pogo said...

Bullshit.
Just as I thought.

For the record, rageboy, it's not a fallacy to ask a question and determine that the respondent who refuses to answer a direct query, who remains evasive or changes the subject is likely lying. Juries do so all the time.

I'm you're jury.

See Wiki on bullshit, John.

knoxwhirled said...

John,

Do find the killing of a rape victim acceptable if a religious text specifically orders it -- and a society's justice system is based on that religious text?

Please don't reply "What?" "I never said that that!" or "Learn how to read" or any other dodgy reply. Please just answer the question. I am curious how you answer.

JohnTaylor88 said...

it's not a fallacy to ask a question and determine that the respondent who refuses to answer a direct query, who remains evasive or changes the subject is likely lying.

My point is your question is loaded and framed in a biased fashion.

Do find the killing of a rape victim acceptable if a religious text specifically orders it -- and a society's justice system is based on that religious text?

I think this is a silly hypothetical. No religious text specifically orders anything. All religious texts require interpretation. The question is whether the interpretation is in good faith or not. As I have stated, my problem with the way you continue to frame the issue is that it is in bad faith -- and bigoted.

JohnTaylor88 said...

Juries do so all the time.

Juries tend not to vote on invading countries.

knoxwhirled said...

More bullshit obfuscatory tapdancing.

JohnTaylor88 said...

More bullshit obfuscatory tapdancing.

Of course. I don't buy into your conceptual framework, so therefore I must be a liar. It can't be that I reasonably disagree. Not that. That would be relativism. Everyone must have exactly the same view. There can be no differences of opinion.

knoxwhirled said...

Hi John!

trying again here. this is kind of fun.

Do you believe killing a rape victim is acceptable under any circumstances?

JohnTaylor88 said...

Do you believe killing a rape victim is acceptable under any circumstances?

Sure. Let's say an ex-con fresh out of prison breaks ino my house with a chainsaw and tries to kill me while I am sleeping. I awaken, snatch up the pistol by the bedside, and shoot him where he stands.

knoxwhirled said...

But, John, what if he's Muslim?????

Pogo said...

I don't buy into your conceptual framework ... blah blah blah.

You didn't read the Wiki on bullshit, John. It's not over whether you can or cannot have a difference of opinion, it's over whether you can pretend to be in a discussion but actively refuse to engage in anything but passive aggressive evasiveness.

You remind me of Cyrus Pinkerton.

JohnTaylor88 said...

over whether you can pretend to be in a discussion but actively refuse to engage in anything but passive aggressive evasiveness.

I suppose pointing out fallacious arguments is beyond the pale of polite discussion these days. I guess by your lights I am an unenlightened barbarian and my home should be burnt to the ground.

Fen said...

John:

This is a fallacy, too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You're_either_with_us,_or_against_us

Which Bush used to justify invasion of Iraq.


Its not a fallacy the way Bush used it. He was referring to nation states [not individuals]. Short version is that nations cannot, due to neglect or neutrality, allow terrorists to operate freely inside their borders. You're either fighting the terrorists or enabling them. There is no middle ground.

JohnTaylor88 said...

But, John, what if he's Muslim?????

Well, he's trying to kill another human being. I thought in your book that's the definition of a Muslim.

JohnTaylor88 said...

Short version is that nations cannot, due to neglect or neutrality, allow terrorists to operate freely inside their borders.

Except that isn't true. Some nations -- due to geography, not neglect -- can't control terrorists within their territory.

knoxwhirled said...

I guess by your lights I am an unenlightened barbarian and my home should be burnt to the ground.

there you go again! I think we certainly agree at this point you deserve to be ridiculed. But burnt? LOL John has a flair for the melodramatic!

knoxwhirled said...

Well, he's trying to kill another human being.

bigot.

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