Hagen in trouble for "anti-Muslim" remarks
Progress Party leader Carl I. Hagen certainly knows how to make the best of a quiet news season. In a speech he held yesterday for the Christian congregation Levende Ord in Bergen, Hagen made some remarks about Islam that have caused "shock", head-shaking and comparisons to 30's anti-semitism. The timing is perfect. With nothing but the bad weather to compete with for media attention, this debate could rage for weeks.
So what did Hagen actually say? That seems to be of less media interest. He criticized Islam to a group of Christian Israel supporters! What more does anyone need to know? A few short quotes have made the rounds: "We Christians are deeply concerned with children. Jesus said, 'let the small children come to me.' I can't imagine that Muhammed would have said the same thing. If he had, it would have been 'Let the small children come to me, so I can exploit them in my struggle to Islamify the world.'" "They made clear long ago, just like Hitler did, that their long term goal is the total Islamification of the world. They're well on their way. They've reached far into Africa, and are making progress in Europe - and that means we must be allowed to raise our voice." Sanity or hyperbole? Hard to tell without knowing the context. I suppose we'll just have to take the media's word for it that Hagen is a Muslim hater, eh?
Yeah, right! Luckily we don't have to. Levende Ord has made video and audio of the speech available on their website, and I've made a transcript of it. Here's the original Norwegian, and my translation of it. (The Norwegian version is faithful to the oral nature of the speech, and is a bit confusing in writing - most was obviously ad-lib. The translation has been cleaned up for coherence.)
A few excerpts:
Israel has fought many wars. In my opinion, all those wars were wars of defense, and a war of defense is nothing like a war of offense. Yassir Arafat has never fought anything but wars of offense, and that is the big difference between them. Israel had no choice but to win these wars. The other countries didn't have to win any wars. But if Israel had just lost one single war, there would have been no further wars, for Israel would have been gone, and there would have been another Holocaust. Afterwards, many would say: Why didn't we realize this would happen? The popular view in Norway is that if only Israel would give in to all demands and be kind and good, all would go them well. But from their long experience they know that unless they are capable of defending themselves, they will no longer have a country to defend, nor a people to defend. That is why I'm so concerned about Israel.
I'm bothered by the religious chauvinism here, (which oddly none of the media have picked up on). Norway is no longer, as Hagen says, founded in Christian values. It is founded in Western values, and it is Western values we must ask that immigrants accept. Although "Christian" in the sense Hagen uses it here is probably interchangable with "Western", it is an unnecessary provocation to force that term onto Norwegian Muslims.
But apart from that, Hagen's worst fault is an occasional lack of clarity, and I agree almost entirely with what he says about Israel. This is not hate speech, it's not something out of the 30's, (except for Churchill, perhaps?), and his criticism of Islamism is fair and necessary, (as long as we don't carelessly extend that criticism to Islam in general.) This is a valuable contribution to the Israel and Islam debates. Too bad noone will get to read more than the two or three media approved "controversial" quotes.
tipu | 2004-07-15 01:14 | Link
I agree with most of that article.
However I believe that Sharon and Arafat have one thing in common: they both take delight in seeing the suffering of 'the enemy'. They are both merchants of death and destruction and ideally they both need to go so that we can turn over a fresh, new leaf and start peace negotiations from scratch.
As regards the children being put on the frontline, that's true, but how about the Israeli settler children deliberately being put next to the towns of the rightful owners of the W. Bank and Gaza for no reason other than provocation?
But I hope there will be solutions. Hopefully Arafat will die of old age soon, and hopefully Sharon will die of some obesity-related disease.
That will be our ONLY chance to get proper leaders on both ends of the discussion table.
But I am confident that we will have peace, and we will live side by side with the Israelis whether Jewish or Islamist extremists like it or not.
Stuart, NY | 2004-07-15 01:46 | Link
Tipu, the difference is that the children in settlements happen to live there - whether you think it's a good place for them or not, it's their home. They aren't going out to find people to kill, either.
This whole notion that there is an equivalence between a dispute over land (which is what the whole settlements business is) and the fact that the Palis send out suicide bombers to kill innocent people is bizarre.
a Reader | 2004-07-15 02:46 | Link
Again, Hagen's criticisms of "Islamism" CAN be equally applied to "Islam" in general. Islam DOES have a different system and understanding of morality and ethics than Christianity or indeed, any other religion I know of. That is because Islam has no fundamental, abstract concept of right and wrong, only a concept of "haram" (prohibited) and "halal" (permitted), as outlined in the Quran and the hadith.
That is why the Islamic world, in contrast to the Christian world, never evolved to the point where they understood that human slavery is morally wrong, because human slavery is "halal" (permitted, within a few limits) in Islam by order of the Prophet and the Quran. And the Prophet's words, as well as those of the Quran, are immutable.
There is no harm in stating that Islam has different values and a different understanding of morality and ethics than we do. That is not "hate speech." We have the right to defend our own concepts of morality and right and wrong. We have the right to say that concepts such as human slavery, stoning people to death for non-violent "crimes", gender apartheid, religious apartheid -- all of which are "halal" in Islam -- are morally wrong and should not be allowed to impact our morally and ethically superior societies. We Westerners have struggled long and hard and shed much blood to get where we are today. We should not give up our accomplishments so lightly.
As for Hagen's description of ourselves as a Christian society, we are culturally Christian and that is that. I am not a Christian but I loathe to see the day when Christianity dies out in Europe, its moral and spiritual homeland for 2,000 years. When that happens Islam will fill the void and we will lose a great amount of what culturally defines us.
Anders, Oslo | 2004-07-15 12:54 | Link
I am sad to see this Bjørn. What have you been drinking in the Baltics? Maybe you ran into the vicious 80% Vodka named Saaremaa that I painstakingly encountered the last time I was there. It may affect one's critical sense.
“It's the extremists I refer to, the fundamentalists. And they made clear long ago, just like Hitler did, that their long term goal is the total Islamification of the world. They're well on their way. They've reached far into Africa, and are making progress in Europe”.
Name the countries that have Islamists leaders. Not Islamic, but Islamist. And don't give me no bullshit about "they are the same".
“Jesus said, 'let the small children come to me.' I can't imagine that Muhammed could have said the same thing. [laughter] If he had, it would have been 'Let the small children come to me, so I can exploit them in my struggle to Islamify the world.”
How can this criticism be against Islamists only? This is a ridiculous claim which communicates: They are evil to their children. They are inhumane. The Prophet is evil.
I have seen a few people in this blog claiming to know a lot about Islam. I have a couple of questions for your tolerant minds:
1. Explain the significance of the failed siege of Vienna in 1683?
2. Can someone please tell me why the crusades ended? Why did people stop doing that? Is it because Christians belong to a higher moral sphere than Muslims? How could the moderates eventually triumph over the fundamentalists on that one? When does WW III start anyway? Some of you seem to know. I forgot... you actually already told me... It's already started!
Bjørn Stærk | 2004-07-15 14:12 | Link
Anders: "What have you been drinking in the Baltics?"
Well that's a healthy, rational response, to blame it on insanity when you encounter unusual views. Please, there's enough such rhetorics in the media, you and I can do without it.
"Name the countries that have Islamists leaders. Not Islamic, but Islamist. And don't give me no bullshit about "they are the same"."
As you know from earlier posts, I don't believe that Islam and Islamism are the same. Islam is the different faiths and traditions of a billion people, Islamism is a more narrow collection of movements that apply strict Islamic ideas to politics. They don't often gain formal control of countries, but Saudi Arabia's Wahhabism counts as Islamist. I recall that Sudan recently had (still has?) an Islamist government. Muslim states in Nigeria have introduced Islamist laws. And of course Islamist movements are moderately popular all over the Arab world, in Pakistan, Algeria. In other African countries, Saudi Arabia sponsor numerous Islamist mosques, as Islam and Christianity gradually divide the continent between them. There are Islamist movements and mosques all over Europe, some of them out in the open, many with connections to terrorist networks. Denmark and other countries have Hizb-ut-Tahrir, London has Finsbury park, France has similar mosques, etc.
And that's just off the top of my head. I'm sure other readers can provide other examples. So yeah, it can be argued that Islamists have reached far into Africa, and are making progress in Europe. Or you can argue against it, if you like, with facts and reason, but it's hardly an obviously moronic and anti-Muslim statement. No ground for shouting "Muslimhets!"
"How can this criticism be against Islamists only? This is a ridiculous claim which communicates: They are evil to their children. They are inhumane. The Prophet is evil."
Did you read the next paragraph? Hagen is referring to the use of children in the Intifada, and is asking what kind of religion it is that would abuse children in such a way. I read that as a criticism of those forms of Islam that encourage children to become martyrs. I do agree that to mention _Muhammed_ in this context is wrong, as it implies a statement about all Islam. I attribute that to sloppyness. You claim that Hagen thinks all Muslims want their children to become martyrs. Which is more likely?
Herbie, New York | 2004-07-15 14:23 | Link
I submit that this attack on Hagen is dangerous and if permitted to gain ground that Norway has a lot to lose. The real is whether any open society can have an open debate. It would appear to be the Islamic view that such a debate cannot be allowed to happen because Islamic vews are based on a revealed word and therefore must to be protected. Indeed if the comments were made in Pakistan Hagen would have been sentenced to death. I submit that this issue has to be faced directly
tipu | 2004-07-15 15:53 | Link
Stuart it is a well known fact (but not in American media which is always biased) that settlers have joined in with IAF operations, gleefully gunning down Palestinians alongside the occupation soldiers. Many of the settlers are members of the Israeli Attack Forces themselves, and all of them believe that they are the chosen people (i.e. racially superior to everyone else).
But then again by your reasoning, attackers = defenders, rightful owners = strangers....and the whole thing known as common sense is fucked up.
Herbie NY | 2004-07-15 16:08 | Link
Tipu are you smoking something that is not tobacco?
Bjørn Stærk | 2004-07-15 16:15 | Link
Herbie: "Tipu are you smoking something that is not tobacco?"
Well that's a personal attack if I ever saw one. Respond to what he says, or not at all.
Guest | 2004-07-15 16:23 | Link
There is a discussion of this incident here:
Herbie NY | 2004-07-15 16:41 | Link
Tipu; In inverse order the concept of a chosen peeople has nothing whatsoever to do with being racially superior. According to the bible chosen refers to the fact that God first revealed himself to the Jews.
As for the "well-known fact" that settlors "gleefully gun down Palestinians", the glee I have seen are when the PLO successfully target Israeli civilians.
Bjorn you were wrong to interpret my prior comment as a personal attack; it was rather meant as high sarcasm for an absurd series of propositions.
Dob | 2004-07-15 17:39 | Link
A couple of points:
1) The notion that the actual contents of religious teachings and/or writings are somehow completely meaningless is quite interesting. Especially seeing that discussion of other belief systems (Read: Ideologies) is usually fierce in the west. It is also noteworthy that the criticism-shield now frequently legislated in the west is in practice only extended to non-western religions, and then principally Islam.
As for the importance of the original text, the fidelity of old texts is not 100 % by far. - Still, claiming it is meaningless is also rather silly in my opinion. (Do you think Christianity would be unchanged if the New Testament would have preached Polytheism, human sacrifice á la the Azteks, etc? I don't.)
2.) Thus, I don't see the shame in being "Anti-Islam". I am most certainly anti-Islam. I am also anti-Christian, albeit not to the same degree. (A lot of my values derive from christian traditionalism, and christianity has been spayed for a hundred years now...)
3.) The distinction between "Islam" and "Islamism" is fuzzy. "Islamism" can thrive because "Islam" is tolerant, understanding and sometimes directly helpful to it. Thus trying to place the two phenomena in different categories is unhelpful.
4.) It is interesting to note that there is a sizeable and well-placed fifth column in all western societies that defend Islam fiercly against attack, while rarely missing an opportunity to denigrate Christianity. In conflicts, they always side with Islam. Their excact reasons vary, yet their presence can hardly be disputed or discounted.
Ohad Efrati, Israel | 2004-07-15 19:11 | Link
>Stuart it is a well known fact (but not in
This is sheer nonsense. I'm curious as to where you get your information from.
Is this a personal spin of the news that's reported in the European media?
Stuart, NY | 2004-07-15 20:33 | Link
no, Tipu, it's not a well known fact at all. Some settlers do carry weapons (as do many Israelis, or many Americans for that matter, as well as many Palestinians), but raids into Palestinian towns are done by the army. If you have even a single cite to back up your absurd statement, please supply it.
The rest of your post is the usual European nouveau anti-Semitism dressed up and isn't worth responding to with anything but contempt.
Phlegma | 2004-07-15 20:40 | Link
To fully understand the background of this discussion, you should be aware of the fact that Hagen - or some other representative of the Progress Party - comes around with these sort of statements each summer when the news are slow. This helps them get votes from the far right.
But to the case of Hagens recent attack. Hagen makes a couple of assumptions that are, if not racist, then at least extremely westernized.
That islamists use children in the intifada: That may be. But if you look back to the second world war, you´ll see that resistance groups all over Europe had children doing resistance work. No one have ever said that they exploited children in the struggle for freedom.
The argument that Islamist are on their way to take over Europe - proved by a couple of islamistic groups and mosques are at least badly founded.
I see that Carl I. Hagen have accepted a course in Islam. Hopefully he will learn to respect both the religion and the culture - and the people assosiated with both.
Sandy P | 2004-07-15 21:01 | Link
Anders, WWIII is soooo 20th century. It was the Cold War.
We're in WW IV.
Whoa, Phlegma? The kids aren't just being trained to throw rocks.
Sandy P | 2004-07-15 21:07 | Link
Muslims are not a race. They belong to a religion.
If they are a race, what color are they?
It's like jacko just stating france is a race. (Now if they had a yellow line physically down their backs, I might agree.)
Race is an all-encompassing term, convenient, isn't it?? Just shout "racism" and people will shut up. Well, most people, not me, I don't care. If that's the best you can do....
Herbie NY | 2004-07-15 21:08 | Link
Plegma You opine that "Hopefully he will learn to respect both the religion and the culture - and the people assosiated with both."
Your position assumes that respect is a two way street. Unfortunately, as regards Islam, that is not so. Islam teaches the opposite and further teaches that conflict is mandated. Your views are predicated on Western values which are not reciprocated in Islam and that is the problem at bottom
tipu | 2004-07-15 21:14 | Link
There's no point arguing on these boards. Say anything about The Chosen People and you're an anti-Semite.
Phlegma | 2004-07-15 21:21 | Link
Sandy: I admit that there are misfits on both sides of the conflict - but as I see it, Israel is the primary agressor. We´ll probably desagree on this - and since this isn´t the issue of this post, let´s look at Hagen and his statments.
I agree that it is easy to shout racism when you talk about ethnocentric people - but I hope you agree with me that if this accusation is unfounded, the one with the claim looses the discussion.
Another thing is that Hagen and his minions play on racist feelings.(I´m not saying that they are racists themselves)They have done so in many years.
Herbie, New York | 2004-07-15 21:26 | Link
Tipu You say "There's no point arguing on these boards. Say anything about The Chosen People and you're an anti-Semite."
I did not call you an anti-Semite. Nor so far as I can see did anyone else. What does come to mind however is the Biblical expression "The guilty flee when no man pursues"
Phlegma | 2004-07-15 21:28 | Link
Herbie, I admit that I make points based on Western values - but if you look into Islam, you´ll learn that the religion itself is a peace loving religion. I say this even though I´m a Christian my self.
I also admit that there are islamic cultures that are not as peace loving as the religion it self.
And yes, respect is a two-way street, or three-way or as many ways you can think of.
I know several Muslems, and I´m offended by the notion that they love their children less than we do, that they aren´t capable of reason, and that they look to exploit their suroundings - including their own family.
Phlegma | 2004-07-15 21:31 | Link
And Tipu: We´re not talking about Jews, are we? If at all, it´s Israel. I´m not opposed to Jews. I´m not opposed to Israel. But I´m very opposed to the practice of the Israelli government.
Herbie NY | 2004-07-15 21:32 | Link
Phelgma, how do you arrive at the view that "Israel is the primary agressor"
Bjørn Stærk | 2004-07-15 21:45 | Link
Herbie: "Bjorn you were wrong to interpret my prior comment as a personal attack; it was rather meant as high sarcasm for an absurd series of propositions."
I interpreted it differently - it was definitely not a factual response. And if I did, so may others. You're with the majority view on this one, and there's nothing worse (to me) than a blog or forum where everyone are so much in agreement that any unusual points of view are quickly shot down with sarcasm and ad hominems, (as Hagen's view on Islam have been in the Norwegian media).
Stuart: "The rest of your post is the usual European nouveau anti-Semitism dressed up and isn't worth responding to with anything but contempt."
Then don't respond at all, and especially not with contempt. Don't come here to posture with clever retorts in front of people who think like you. _Nothing_ here is beneath argument.
Tipu: "There's no point arguing on these boards. Say anything about The Chosen People and you're an anti-Semite."
Oh, stop whining. If you keep on writing in this blog, I can promise you one thing, that I will strike down on personal attacks, and I will _try_ to keep things clean, reasonable and factual - especially when you say things many people here disagree with. That's more than most blogs and forums will guarantee. But if your skin is so thin that _one_ single accusation of antisemitism is enough to chase you away, then by all means leave.
Herbie NY, NY | 2004-07-15 21:46 | Link
Phlegma, I am sorry to disagree but you look at Islam through Rose colored glasses. It is NOT and never has been a tolerant religion. It divides the world into the World of Islam and the world of unbelievers. It decrees that Islam must be brought to triumph over that world. It mandates that Jews and Christians must be subordinate to Moslems. Can you imagine the uproar if a Rabbi or a Minister in a sermon referred to Moslems as the sons of pigs and apes. That is the problem. It takes two to tango.
a Reader | 2004-07-15 21:49 | Link
"I see that Carl I. Hagen have accepted a course in Islam."
Phlegma, I have studied Islam extensively and am the parent of a grown Muslim convert. The more I have learned about Islam and its culture, the less I learned to respect it, and the more I learned to fear it.
I have seen many well-meaning Western people such as yourself automatically assume that people who criticize Islam know nothing about it; on the contrary, some of Islam's fiercest critics are people who DO know a great deal about it. Islam is not a peaceful religion in any way, shape or form. Any "peaceful" offshoots of Islam such as Sufism or Ismailism are that way because of influences from Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, not from Islam. The more "Islamic" the religion is practiced (i.e. the closer it gets to drawing its inspirations only from the Quran and the Sunnah), the less peaceful it gets.
Herbie NY, NY | 2004-07-15 21:51 | Link
A reader Well spoken
Phlegma | 2004-07-15 21:52 | Link
Herbie: Statistics - pure and simple. According to The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories 3,399 Palestinians in the occupied areas have been killed by Israeli security forces since the beginning of the first Intifada. At the same time 532 Israelis have been killed in the Occupied Territories.
If you look at casualties in Israel, 106 Palestinians have been killed and 610 Isralies.
(hopefully this program takes html - if not, copy and paste...)
tipu | 2004-07-15 21:56 | Link
David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff.
Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, head of the Kever Yossev Yeshiva (school of Talmud) in Nablus stated:
Yitzhak Ginsburg, "Five General Religious Duties Which Lie Behind the Act of the Saintly, Late Rabbi Baruch Goldstein, May his Blood be Avenged":
In 1923, radical Zionist Ze'ev Jabotinsky-- spiritual father of not only of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin but of Brooklyn Rabbi Meir Kahane-- wrote:
The influential Israeli Rabbi Ovadia Yosef exclaimed during a sermon preceding the 2001 Passover holiday, :
Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel (date undetermined, in an Israeli cabinet meeting):
Phlegma | 2004-07-15 21:57 | Link
I see that it viped out the html I wrote (or I made some totally foolish error...). Well here´s the link:
Copy and paste.
tipu | 2004-07-15 21:58 | Link
First aeroplane hijacking: Committed by Israel in 1954 when a civilian Syrian airliner was hijacked after taking off.
Hand grenades in cafes: First used against Palestinians in Jerusalem on 17 March, 1937.
Delayed-action, electrically timed mines in crowded market-places: first against Palestinians in Haifa, 6 July, 1938.
Blowing up a ship with its civilian passengers still on board: first in Haifa, 25 November, 1940. The Zionists did not hesitate to murder their own people to protest the British policy of strict Jewish immigration to Palestine. The steam ship ‘Patria’ had 1,700 Jewish immigrants.
Assassination of a government official outside Palestine: first used against the British in Cairo, when on 6 November, 1944. Lord Moyne and his driver Lance-Corporal Fuller were shot dead at point blank range by the Stern Gang. Yitzhak Shamir, a member of the Irgun and later leader of the Stern Gang was behind the plan.
Taking of hostages to put pressure on a government: first used against the British in Tel Aviv, 18 June, 1946.
Blowing up government offices with their civilian employees and visitors: first used against the British in Jerusalem, 22 July, 1946. The death toll was 28 British, 41 Arab, 17 Jewish, and 5 other, as well as 45 injured in the bombing of the King David Hotel. Begin, who masterminded and carried out the attack, admitted that the massacre was coordinated with and carried out under the instruction of the Haganah.
Booby-trapped suitcase: first used against the British Embassy in Rome, 13 October, 1946.
Booby-trapped car parked alongside buildings: first used against the British in Sarafand (east of Jaffa) on 5 December, 1946.
Flogging of hostages: first used against the British in Tel Aviv, Natanya and Rishon, 29 December, 1946.
Letter-bombs sent to politicians outside Palestine: first used against Britain when twenty letter-bombs were sent from Italy to London between 4 and 6 June, 1947.
Murder of hostages as a reprisal for government actions: first used against the British in Natanya area on 29 July, 1947.
Postal Parcel-bomb sent outside Palestine: first used against the British in London, 3 September, 1947.
tipu | 2004-07-15 22:02 | Link
AL-SHEIKH VILLAGE MASSACRE
DEIR YASSIN MASSACRE
NASSER AL-DIN MASSACRE
BEIT DARAS MASSACRE
THE DAHMASH MOSQUE MASSACRE
KAFR QASEM MASSACRE
THE SABRA AND SHATILA MASSACRE
OYON QARA MASSACRE
AL-AQSA MOSQUE MASSACRE
THE IBRAHIMI MOSQUE MASSACRE
THE JABALIA MASSACRE
ERETZ CHECKPOINT MASSACRE
Phlegma | 2004-07-15 22:04 | Link
Well, I do not agree with you Herbie. And Since the Reader is speaking of his own experiences, I can´t argue with him either.
But if one looks at the history, one sees that Islamic conquerors have been a far more gentle rulers than ther Christian counterparts. But that doesn´t necessarily speak of the religion. It may just be that they were a bit wiser when it came to ruling...
Have to leave you now. Have a paper to edit tomorrow. And fear not - it´s as local as it can be. Not a hint of neither the middle east conflict nor Carl I. Hagen.
Bjørn Stærk | 2004-07-15 22:09 | Link
tipu: Okay now you're approaching spam levels. Are you copying and pasting from somewhere? Then just post the URL.
Herbie NY | 2004-07-15 22:29 | Link
You say Phlegma You say “Statistics - pure and simple. According to The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories 3,399 Palestinians in the occupied areas have been killed by Israeli security forces since the beginning of the first Intifada. At the same time 532 Israelis have been killed in the Occupied Territories.”
Well that is the beginning and not the end of the inquiry. The majority of the Israelis that were killed were civilians and the majority of the Palestinians that were killed were armed militants.
As for your second point that Islamic conquerors have been a far more gentle rulers than ther Christian counterparts, you are inpart quite right at least as regrds Jereusalem. As for other features of Islamic rule I commend yor attention to "The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude : Seventh-Twentieth Century"
tipu | 2004-07-15 22:48 | Link
A Jewish man writing about Islam. That's not exactly an unbiased account, considering racism on the part of Jews towards Chistians and Muslims.
| 2004-07-15 22:49 | Link
A rough reading of your blurbs is that any act in which a Palestinian dies is a "massacre" and, most, if not all, appear to be taken out of context -- but even as to those, a number suggest that the actions of the Israelis were responsive. But I would gather that you would not grant the Israelis the right of self defense. Of more interest to me is that when Israeli soldiers have been found to have acted improperly they have been prosecuted and sent to jail in contrast to Palistentians who get awards for killing pregnant woman.
As for the quotations you offer from Israeli politicians and orthodox religious leaders, I am not familiar with them. But assuming for the sake of argument they are true -- so what. They do not represent established Israeli policy. In contrast, please explain how it is that it is established Islamic policy that Christians and Jews are considered to be the sons of pigs and monkeys.
Please further explain how it is that Israel has offered land for peace and the response has been offers of death.
Herbie NY | 2004-07-15 22:53 | Link
Tipu "considering racism on the part of Jews towards Chistians and Muslims."
The blunt turth is that if there is an "racsim" it resides solely in the manner in which the Koran is utilized today. In fact what the reocrd does show is that it is the Jews and Christians that have extended a hand in peace and tolerenece and it is Islam that has flatly rejected that hand and offered a sword insteads
Herbie, NY | 2004-07-15 23:04 | Link
Tipu you fuirther say "A Jewish man writing about Islam. That's not exactly an unbiased account." Putting to one side whether I am Jewish or not which is of no relelvance: am I to gather that in your view only a Moslem would be able to write an unbiased account of Islam. If so that must come as a great surprise to Bernard Lewis of Princton Univ. who is by most accounts one of the great scholars of Islam and -- perish the thought -- a Jew.
tipu | 2004-07-15 23:19 | Link
Nowhere in Islamic scriptures are Jews and Christians mentioned as sons of pigs and monkeys despite Israeli propaganda. Jewish and Christian places of worship have flourished all over the Arab world, as have populations of Jews and Christians, unlike in Israel where Christians and Muslims are persecuted and given different colour license plates for their cars.
10% of Syria's, 25% of Palestine's, 6% of Egypt's and 1% of Morocco's people are Christians.
25,000 Jews live in Turkey, a 99.98% Muslim country.
1.3% of Tunisia's and 2% of Algeria's people are Christians and Jews.
There are small Jewish communities in major Syrian cites.
Jews, Christians and Muslims fought the Catholic crusaders together.
Jews and Christians flourished in Arab Spain, were allowed to buy property and live as they wished, the same goes for Jerusalem.
As for your justification of these crimes as 'reprisals' and 'responses', what's to stop me from justifying Nazi reprisals in occupied France and massacres of European Jews? Oh but that would make me a Jew-hater.
You and all your pro-Israel friends can wave away as many Jewish/Israeli crimes as you want, in any way you like and only concentrate on Palestinian crimes because you believe the Chosen People are preferred by God and are the only human beings worth anything. But this makes you as bad as supporters of Nazis who believed in racial superiority and people of other ethnicity being sub-humans.
I have tried time and time again to point out that BOTH sides suffer, that BOTH sides commit crimes...but time and time again I hear the same thing: the Chosen People are always right and justified to do whatever they like, the Palestinians are always wrong, always terrorists.
Well I wonder what you would do, had Russian and Eastern European Jews flooded Norway, kicked millions of you out of your homes at gunpoint, stolen your homes and property, killed thousands and herded the rest of you into ghettos that are bombed and raided every day.
Herbie NY | 2004-07-15 23:19 | Link
Before I leave for the evening here is what South African Mufti Ebrahim Desai had to say about tolerance:
"Thus what is meant by the passage in Tafsir Uthmani, is that if a country doesn't allow the propagation of Islam to its inhabitants in a suitable manner or creates hindrances to this, then the Muslim ruler would be justifying in waging Jihad against this country, so that the message of Islam can reach its inhabitants, thus saving them from the Fire of Jahannum. If the Kuffaar allow us to spread Islam peacefully, then we would not wage Jihad against them."
It would be a stretch to cal this tolerent
tipu | 2004-07-15 23:21 | Link
I was referring to Bat Ye'or...he doesn't quite sound American does he?
tipu | 2004-07-15 23:24 | Link
Before *I* leave for the evening here is what Yitzhak Ginsburg had to say about tolerance:
"The killing by a Jew of a non-Jew, i.e. a Palestinian, is considered essentially a good deed, and Jews should therefore have no compunction about it."
It would be a stretch to call this tolerant.
Herbie, New York | 2004-07-15 23:40 | Link
In the Islamic Aghlabid dynasty (9th through 11th century, North Africa) Jews were forced to wear a patch that had an image of a monkey, and were also forced to afix said image to their homes; Christians were forced to wear a patch that had an image of a pig, and they were also forced to afix said image to their home. (F. Vir?"Kird," Encyclopedia of Islam, Second Edition.)
"Allah did not mete out the punishment of transformation on any nation except the Jews. The significance of it is actual change in the appearance of the Jew and perfect transformation from human to bestial condition... from human appearance to the form of genuine apes, pigs, mice, and lizards..." (Source: The Hamas monthy publication Falastin Al-Muslima (London), September 1996, series of articles nu Ibrahim Al-'Ali, pp. 54-55.)
The Palestinian Authority regularly broadcasts anti-Semitic religious sermons from Palestinian Mosques; many, such as the example below, incite Palestinians to kill Jews. The following quotes are excerpted from a sermon by Dr. Mustafa Najem, Dec. 6, 2002:
As for your reference to Christians and Jews living in peace in Islamic lands please see the books I quoted above.
The objective facts are that Jews have left, unless they were prohibited from leaving unless they left all of tier possessions as in Syria and Egypt. Turkey does have a good relationship with almost all of its minorities. Christians are leaving in droves and even from PLO controlled areas. As for tolerance, I can’t find one case where a new synagogue or church has been built in any country you name and to repair one that needs repair requires permission and a special tax.
The rest of your note appears to be a rant and not worth responding to
Herbie NY, NY | 2004-07-15 23:44 | Link
Tipu says "I was referring to Bat Ye'or...he doesn't quite sound American does he?" How clever. First he is a she and she is an Egyption by birth and now a Britsh citizen. Oh yes, this should make you crazy I think she is Jewish.
Jan Haugland, Bergen | 2004-07-16 00:32 | Link
Good to see you back from vacation and actively blogging again, Bjørn. I read the news, and wondered about the context. Thanks for providing it.
In a sense, Hagen preempted being taken out of context by the media, and at least partially he was.
His opinions about Christianity I disagree with, but they were not particularly controversial. He should not have brought Muhammad into it in such a way. Otherwise, I think he's basically correct. Unfortunately. Hagen made it clear he was speaking about fundamentalism Islamists, not all the peaceful Muslims around the world, and the media mostly cut that out.
I think the most shocking part was what he said about Israel and the Palestinian conflict. This is a line of argument we know well, but which is never ever voiced in meanstream Norwegian media. It would be a bit too hard to refute.
Sandy P | 2004-07-16 01:00 | Link
Stay frosty, a little paranoia might be acceptable.
Stuart | 2004-07-16 01:51 | Link
Yes, Bat Yeor is Jewish, Egyptian in origin.
Tipu, all you have established (assuming your list is accurate, which isn't entirely the case) is that (1) 100 years of war aren't pretty and (2) Israel isn't immune from having fanatics. I can assure you that the list in the other direction is about 80 times as long.
Click over to MEMRI and read some Imam's sermons one day. That stuff is continuing to this day.
Not that I think it makes a difference to you. Someone who continually refers to Jews as the "chosen people" clearly has a different agenda going on.
Sandy P | 2004-07-16 02:20 | Link
How come you don't mention Saudi Arabia? There's Jews, Christians & muslims living in mt holy land.
Sandy P | 2004-07-16 02:23 | Link
Time for "Ali" to get involved.
Phlegma, search Bjorn's site for Ali Dashti. Start perusing the links provided.
tipu | 2004-07-16 02:47 | Link
Herbie: You look at the assumption that synagogues are badly maintained when in fact they are very well kept. If you'd ever been to the main street of Tunis you'd find an immaculately kept synagogue: [http://www.muz-online.de/photos5/griba.jpg], [http://www.foldabikes.com/CurrentEvents/Story/Photos/tunisia/tunis2.jpg]***notice Hebrew writing on the panel at the top***, [http://www.tunisusa.com/newdesign/newdesign/jewish_history.htm]***read the itinerary too so you can see how well Jewish heritage has been kept over the years and that as of the coming august it will be attracting tourists***.
I don't see them on fire, falling apart, with graffitti on the walls, contrary to what some propagandists will have you believe.
Stuart: 80 times as long? It never ceases to amaze me how ungrateful Israelis and their American loyalists are. Which region accepted thousands and thousands of Jews so they could escape the Holocaust? America? No, because accepting Jewish refugees was considered co-operating with enemy nationals. It was the Middle East. Until Jews drew swastikas on their own doors, burnt down their own synagogues to blame it on Muslims, even killed other Jews. Type 'Naem Giladi' into a search engine and see for yourself how Jews used terror and intimidation tactics to force each other to go to Israel.
Overall, it's extremely considerate of the Syrian, Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan governments to spend money maintaining synagogues and providing for the thousands of Jews who happen to live in those countries.
I'm not even going to go into Christians because they are treated very well in every Arab country- and I don't need an Egyptian Jew named Bat Ye'or to lie and tell me otherwise.
tipu | 2004-07-16 02:50 | Link
tipu | 2004-07-16 02:52 | Link
Sandy: maybe Jews and Christians don't want to live in Saudi Arabia. The Arab world is not Israel, we do not force people to live in our countries whether they like it or not.
Joe, San Jose | 2004-07-16 06:55 | Link
What a strange way of proving things.
Consider an event in which Palestinians who were preparing a bomb die as the bomb goes off prematurely. Or a suicide bomber explodes before his time. Or even, the more frequent occurrence, of Palestinians trying to crawl into a Jewish settlements, or across the border in Gaza, and are shot dead.
The Israelis may suffer zero casualties in all these cases, but that does not prove they were the aggressors in either one.
Using your method it can be proven that the Japanese were the victims of US aggression in WWII, for example.
tipu | 2004-07-16 08:15 | Link
Palestinians shot dead while crawling into settlements is pure murder because the settlements should not be there in the first place.
And yes Japanese were the victims of US aggression. Roosevelt, seeking a way to enter the war despite very low public support for it, stopped oil exports to Japan knowing that Japan could not function without US oil and so would have to look elsewhere to find it. They set their sights on nearby oil-rich pacific islands and in order to extract that oil, they attacked Pearl Harbour in an attempt to knock out the US pacific fleet so they could take oil with impunity.
Michael Farris | 2004-07-16 08:30 | Link
tipu : "Palestinians shot dead while crawling into settlements is pure murder because the settlements should not be there in the first place."
So it follows that ethnic French people have the right to kill illegal Algerian immigrants? It would seem to follow from your reasoning.
I'm fairly critical of some Israeli policy (can't stand Sharon) but the Palestinians over the last couple of years have completely lost my sympathy through suicide bombers and through the brutalization/militarization of their children.
tipu | 2004-07-16 09:52 | Link
Algerian immigrants are not armed to the teeth and do not have settlements protected by Algerian troops.
Joe, San Jose | 2004-07-16 11:53 | Link
I don't follow the logic. Suppose I agree with you that Jews have no right to live in the West Bank. Does that mean their life has no value, that Palestinians have a right not only to kill them, but to do so in safety? That killing a Palestinian while he was attacking Jewish settlers is a crime?
Your point about the settlers being armed is laughable. Here you are explaining and justifying those who attack and kill them, then whine about the settlers carrying guns.
Leif Knutsen, New York | 2004-07-16 13:07 | Link
Your ad hominem attacks are unworthy - what difference does it make whether your opponent is Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or agnostic?
The treatment of Jews in Arab countries has ranged by time and place between outright persecution to institutional discrimination. It was never as bad as, say Germany in the 1930s, but never as good as you claim it was, either. There is no question that in excess of 800 000 Jews were to varying levels forced to leave Arab countries between 1949 and about 1974 - Morrocco has a small remnant, as does Tunisia, but in Syria and Iraq, only old people stayed, and have had to keep a low profile. Jews are prohibited from establishing residency in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Just because Arab states weren't as bad as Nazi Germany or Ukraina doesn't mean there wasn't antisemitism.
From what little I know of the Koran, I understand that you can't understand it without the benefit of scholarship. On the other hand, people who invoke Islam to discriminate and persecute religious minorities - whether they are Christians of various denominations (Catholics are also Christian), Jewish, Zoroastrian, etc., must answer to their religious basis. I am perfectly convinced that Islam allows for religious freedom, but it is pretty obvious that many so-called religious leaders don't.
At least tens of thousands of Jews could have immigrated to the British Mandate in Palestine in the years leading up to and during WWII, but it was Arab resistance to that idea that made the Brits enforce harsh immigration quotas on the Jews (though not on Arabs). The Nazis did the murdering; the Brits let them do it; the Arab leaders "encouraged" it.
As for the "both sides" argument, it's too simplistic. I have no doubt that the Palestinians suffer from a great injustice, but I doubt a solution is to be found in comparing the suffering.
If the premise for a solution is that a) Israel should be allowed to exist behind secure borders; and b) Palestinians should be granted the means to live in a just and free society, there are many possible solutions.
But if the premise for a solution is that the Palestinians must have all their national aspirations fulfilled without regard to the safety of Israelis, there will never be peace. No matter what you think of Israel, you can be assured that they will never give up.
Herbie, NY, NY | 2004-07-16 14:11 | Link
Tippu "maybe Jews and Christians don't want to live in Saudi Arabia"." Hmm?
As for tolerance of Christians and Jews in Islamic countries see http://www.hraic.org/persecution_of_christians.html.
The Saudi Tourism site states that visas will not be issued to Jews – period.
As for Christians “churches are banned, prayer meetings in private homes are prohibited, Bibles are confiscated, and proclaiming the Gospel is punishable by such extreme measures as execution by beheading or life in prison. Any display of Christian symbols is entirely forbidden and the practice of Christianity even by foreigners is strictly prohibited.”
What would your reaction and your fellow Islamics be if Norway or the US implemented similar laws as pertains to Moslems. I can hear the screams of outrage about prejudice and racism.
Other Islamic countries are similarly intolerent and the objective reocrd is that the Christian population of thise countries is collapsing throgh immigration
Herbie NY | 2004-07-16 14:20 | Link
Tippu I clicked on all of your links about Synagogues and the message I got back from Google was "The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable"
Isn't that odd? But then again coming form you probably not.
Herbie NY | 2004-07-16 14:57 | Link
Tipu some of your links do work --those to Tunisa. That aside here are the facts in contrast to your ex cathedra prouncements:
David Singer and Lawrence Grossman, Eds. 1. American Jewish Year Book 2003. NY: American Jewish Committee, 2003.
As for Christians, while I could not find a country by country analysis the following are fairly representative of what is going on
NAZARETH — According to a recent report, more Christians born in Jerusalem live in Sydney, Australia than in the city of their birth. And three out of four Christians born in Bethlehem now live overseas. These are just two examples of the little known and seldom reported phenomenon that many indigenous Middle Eastern Christians are fleeing in droves
According to DAniel Pipes “At the present rate, the Middle East's 12 million Christians will likely drop to 6 million in the year 2020. With time, Christians will effectively disappear from the region as a cultural and political force. As one report puts it, "there are more Palestinians living in Bayt Jala in Chile than in Bayt Jala [on the West Bank] itself." Along similar lines, Prince El-Hassan bin Talal notes in this issue that "there are today more Christians from Jerusalem … living in Sydney, Australia, than in Jerusalem itself."
For a good article on this subject see fhttp://www.byzantines.net/byzcathculture/christflight.html
“Christians, where the dominant majority, Muslims, are told by their "holy book" that they are the noblest of creatures and the former are the vilest of animals, where the majority constitutes the only portion of society which counts whereas those of the minority are outside of and subordinate to that society, where the official state religion is that of the majority and the religion of the minority is scorned if not actively persecuted, where the legal system by its very language prefers the majority and discriminates against the minority, where the news media promote the interests of the majority and ignore or defame the people of the minority, where opportunity in education, employment and business are tilted toward the majority and away from the minority, where in times of political and economic misfortune those of the majority feel free to attack, plunder and kill those of the minority out of hatred and revenge, where the clergy of the majority preaches hatred for the minority and issues religious decrees urging its followers to wage war against the minority, where the men of the majority regard the women of the minority as shameless and frequently molest them, where the important decisions in society are based on the religion of the majority, on ethnicity, tribe, clan and family rather than on merit, and where ignorance, superstition, corruption, abuse & denigration of women, oppression, and persecution of religious & ethnic minorities are the norms, not the exceptions, then you will understand the predicament of Christians in Muslim societies and wonder no longer why they seek to escape by emigrating.”
Now please contrast that with Norwegian, US and Israeli policies.
If you still have some doubts try the UN reports on Arab Human Development Report (2000 through 2003) about the stulltifying effects of Islam on Human Developmnent: 60% of women are illiterate and intentionally kept that way, Korea has a greater gross national prodct then the entire Middle East, excluding Israel, but at the end of WWII the economic out put was about equal; more books were translated into PORTUGESE in 2001 then were translated into Arabic in the last 65 years from other languages.
Herbie NY | 2004-07-16 15:44 | Link
Tippu I have reread your postings and they appear to be summed up best by you yourself:
"I'm not even going to go into Christians because they are treated very well in every Arab country- and I don't need an Egyptian Jew named Bat Ye'or to lie and tell me otherwise."
I would guess tht about says it all -- from your prospective
Stuart, NY | 2004-07-16 16:15 | Link
I think Tipu's own posts speak volumes. Any response would be far less eloquent than the posts themselves.
Post on, Tipu.
Franko | 2004-07-16 16:53 | Link
"And yes Japanese were the victims of US aggression."
Well that is an interesting take on the start of WWII. I can honstly say I have never heard of such a theory. So I suppose, if Saudi Arabia decided to cut off oil shipemnts to America we would be justified in atacking them and taking the oil by force?
"oil-rich pacific islands"
Just fyi, the pacific islands are volcanic in origin and as such have no oil or other mineral resources at all.
Franko | 2004-07-16 16:59 | Link
Back to the topic...
By making the statement he did, I think Carl I. Hagen is showing his age. While the subject of how agressive Islam is or isn't (and is it helpful or harmful to Norway) is a worthy topic for discussion, Carl was clumsy in his presentation. It is the presentation of his ideas, not their substance, that unfortunatly will take centerstage.
Sandy P | 2004-07-16 21:50 | Link
--Sandy: maybe Jews and Christians don't want to live in Saudi Arabia. The Arab world is not Israel, we do not force people to live in our countries whether they like it or not.--
No Tipu, you do not allow your womenfolk to go outside by themselves wearing what the want, drive, or leave the country if they wish, much less work, amongst other things.
Should I start in on makeup and nail and toe polish????
This will be over when I can fly into SA by myself, rent a car by myself, wear what I want and my cross in public and visit Islam's holy places by myself without being bothered.
Herbie NY | 2004-07-16 23:08 | Link
Sandy "This will be over when I can fly into SA by myself, rent a car by myself, wear what I want and my cross in public and visit Islam's holy places by myself without being bothered" Wow! One tough mother :-) My kinda woman
Sandy P | 2004-07-16 23:19 | Link
Maybe if Islam let muslims leave the religion as easily as they let the kufir leave their countries.....But then who would they get to do most of the work in SA?
Herbie, the more I've found out, those are my non-negotiable terms. No hudnas, no time-outs. We need to finish the mission no matter how long it takes. Win a battle, lose a battle, we must press on until it's finished either way. NorK, Iran, Iraq and domestically Nam should be teaching us this now. All unfinished business, I don't think it's a coincidence they're all biting in the ass at this point in time.
It's heating up again, people aren't paying attention.
Anders, Oslo | 2004-07-16 23:56 | Link
When you see harsh propaganda on Hagens lips you dismiss it as a slip of the tongue. I think that's true too. But I think that he says what he really means. He is just playing "Mr. Nice Guy" pretending to have such vast amounts of love and affection for moderate Muslims.
Have you traced this opporunist's record? This guy has been pulling votes from people who hate Muslims for years, have you asked yourself why?What has Hagen ever done for Muslims in Norway? Would you in your normal fashion blame the Norwegian media entirely for Hagen's EXTREMELY poor image among Muslims in Norway? If he has such respect for them, it's strange that they hate him so badly? Or is this part of the Islamofascist "I-eat-babies-for-dinner and torture-my-wife-to-sleep before firing mortar rounds at the neighbour's house image?"
There is one thing I liked about Hagen's statement. He proved once and for all that no politician can, should or will cooperate with Hagen's party in a Government in the near future.
The remark about distinction between Islam/Islamism was targeted to others (I know you make such a distinction.) I am worried about the 'us' and 'them' relation you all are building up under. The artist Sting gave a kick in the ass to the West when this got out of hand during the Cold War:
"Such an ignorant thing to do if the Russians love their children too".
Eventually we realized that the Russians actually loved their children too...
Bjørn Stærk | 2004-07-17 00:37 | Link
Anders: "He is just playing "Mr. Nice Guy" pretending to have such vast amounts of love and affection for moderate Muslims."
Here's what I think: I think Hagen believes that Muslim cultures have some traits that are inferior to Christian Western values, and others which are outright dangerous, all of which it is our right to ask that they abandon when they move to Western countries. He believes that it is possible for Muslims to live in accordance with our values. He may or may not have xenophobic inclinations, (ie. a basic distrust towards alien cultures in general), but his objections to Islam are specific, and voicing those objections in a debate is not xenophobic or dangerous.
Does Hagen put on an act to get voters? Probably, and possibly more than other politicians, (though I do think he sees himself as a champion for a consistent set of ideals). It is possible that he told these Christians things he doesn't actually believe, or believe but won't ever lift a finger to support in practice. I don't hold Hagen above dishonesty. But this massive response from a combined press and panel of experts is vastly disproportionate to anything Hagen may be suspected of. It's also ad hominem, most of it. This subject needs to be discussed. Hagen has raised specific objections to the way Islam is being used in the Middle East conflict. So far, _nobody_ have replied to those objections. Shouldn't that bother you?
Do you believe in the battlefield of ideas? You ask why Hagen's image among Muslims is so bad. Now, if many of Hagen's ideas are rarely discussed in a serious way, because everybody is too busy thinking up clever ways to shout "taboo!" in more words, why would you expect his image to be a fair representation of what he actually believes?
You've read the speech I posted, (which puts you in a group of no more than a few thousand people who actually know what Hagen said). You can compare that speech with the quotes that are circulating in the media. Do you believe those quotes were picked to be representative of the speech, or were they picked for their newsworthiness? How would this contribute to the fairness of his image among Muslims?
"Eventually we realized that the Russians actually loved their children too..."
That was never much in question. The love of Russian communists for the children of _other Russians_, however .. or for the children of Ukraina, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany, the Baltics .. well. Not very strong.
Anders, Oslo | 2004-07-17 10:02 | Link
I've done a full propaganda analysis of the entire speech, but enough has been said about the matter, in Norway so I won't write it out in a chronicle. As you have demonstrated the criticism is starting to reach sufficient levels.
"Do you believe those quotes were picked to be representative of the speech"
Excerpts can never replace the full context. But I fully support the selection of quotes. They are a glimpse of how narrow and deranged Hagen's understanding of Islam is. He does a few things that are more sensible. But these quotes reveal that he (like many in this forum) believe Islam to be a dangerous tide that is coming to get us all. And that Jihad and conversion with the sword is what awaits us all if we don't bring out our guns pretty soon. Wait 3 to 5 years Hagen says. Personally, I hope that Hagen's retired from politics in 3-5 years. I don't believe we have a clash of civilizations conflict on our hands within that time span.
But if the Western Chriastian democracies start talking the way Hagen speaks in the selected quotes, we might have a chance of getting this war. Dehumanising your opponents and denigrating them through for instance one of your own preferred disciplines: "Civilization Rating" might get us all closer in to confrontation with the entire Muslim world, and not just the crazy Islamists who most Muslims think are maniacs too.
Finally, back to the speech. Willoch is ridiculed, Bishop Stålsett is ridiculed. By whom?? These are highly respected figures of dignity within Norwegian society. They are ridiculed by the bad boy and infant terrible in Norwegian politics. The bully who snaps at minorities to gain votes from the uneducated misfit layers of societies. (Any voter analysis prove the low education level of FRP-voters, the deviation is young male economic professionals) Single moms, immigrants, muslims, Saami people... fill in the blanks. If there's a weak minority group (except pensioners) he's probably had a snap at them. To finish on a note that you also struck. I know who I am siding with. :-)
PS.... The ridicilous claims about children made are about the Islamists OWN children....not the neighbours. I ask you once again: Do you believe that they are squeezing out children out ONLY to get them to be suicide bombers? I think that they love their children too....
Bjørn Stærk | 2004-07-17 11:41 | Link
Anders: "Excerpts can never replace the full context. But I fully support the selection of quotes. "
Two quotes have been popular. The first is the one about Jesus vs Muhammed. This, although clumsily phrased, was clearly taken out of context, as you see if you read the next paragraph. Hagen is criticizing the abuse of children in the intifada in the name of Islam. I fail to see how any reading that takes both these paragraphs into account can lead to the interpretation that Hagen believes Muslims don't love their children, that Islam tells them not to love children, or anything similar. If that is what you believe, please explain.
The second quote warns that "they" are well on their way in Africa and Europe. In context, "they" are clearly stated to be fundamentalists, ie. Islamists. Without context, it seems Hagen is afraid that Islam in general will take over the world. As for the truth of that statement, you asked me to give you some examples of countries where Islamists were making progress or were in power. I did that. You never replied to that. Does that mean you agree with Hagen that Islamists have made progress in Africa and Europe? Because that is what the quote - in context - actually says.
"These are in fact the basic propaganda strategies that always occur before genocide takes place."
Yeah, in the same way that marihuana leads to heroin abuse. Obviously anyone who wants to launch a meaningless war or genocide against some group will want to rate their morals and culture as inferior to their own. But so will anyone who wants to end an important injustice. I believe the morals and culture of our own slave trading ancestors in Europe and the US was inferior to our own. Am I now in the preparations phase for a genocide against slave traders? Would anti-slavery crusaders in the 19th century have been in preparations for a genocide against white people?
"Do you believe that they are squeezing out children out ONLY to get them to be suicide bombers? I think that they love their children too...."
Eh. Why did we get into this? Where did anyone say that there are people, somewhere, who don't love their _own_ children? That's genetics. The real test, as I tried to hint earlier, is whether they love other people's children. Hamas leaders in the Palestinian areas don't send their own children as suicide bombers, they send the children of other Palestinians to kill the children of Israelis. The parents of these brave martyrs may occasionally be brainwashed enough to applaud their son's or daughter's death, but I believe more often than not they applaud because it is expected of them, or because they are being threatened to shut up about their grief.
It really is an undisputable fact that Islamist terrorists often abuse children (and teenagers) in their cause. Do you agree or disagree?
tipu | 2004-07-17 16:43 | Link
I agree but children were also used in the resistance movements of many European countries.
Phlegma | 2004-07-17 22:01 | Link
One thing struck me the other day. It´s funny that Hagen talks about the dangers of extrimists to extremist christians...
Anders, Oslo | 2004-07-17 22:05 | Link
"I fail to see how any reading that takes both these paragraphs into account can lead to the interpretation that Hagen believes Muslims don't love their children"
That's just not true. Cause my reading does. It's perfectly simple. Exclude Muhammad from the paragraph and it is more.. shall I say... Halal :-), but still over the line by my standards. As long as the Prophet is in this IS scathing criticism. If you say Jesus is an idiot and then go on to argue that you are only targeting certain people you will still insult everyone who likes jesus. I am surprised that you don't see this. Here you remind me of the fallacy Dagbladet keeps doing....The "nothing is holy to us so how can it be to anyone else fallacy". Atheist criticism of religion is close to always superficial.
OK, Saudi Arabia. Islamists. Are they about to conquer the world? Are they preparing for Islamist world domination in the shadows? How about Sudan (BTW VERY bad things are happening there right now and we are basically all just not capable of getting our eyes off Iraq). I do agree that Saudi Arabia is a ticking in bomb in some respect, but I don't get sleepless nights out of it. Islamism doesn't give me sleepless nights as of today....
Here is probably my most amusing argument against your paranoia for Islamism. (I also admit it's dangerous, but I think they are still a minority)I know several third generation "Muslims" and most of them drink alcohol. Expose the Islamists to booze for a couple of generations and you get interesting results. They start to talk less about Jihad, and sometimes actually adopt some habits which may be seen as pushing the limits of Islam quite forcefully.
Joe, San Jose | 2004-07-17 23:53 | Link
Your comparison is banal.
You might as well have said that it's funny Hagen criticizes religious muslims since he himself is a reiligous...Christiam. It makes just as much sense.
So you got to make a cute line about him being an extremist himself. Do you seriously consider him equivalent of Nassrallah, Yassin, Osama or a thousand less well-known Muslims who incite and direct terrorist operations against infidels all over the world?
When you respond to that, perhaps you can also tell me if you still think your statistical method is a good way of determining who the aggressor is in a conflict.
You don't have to believe that Islamists will take over the world. It's enough to believe that they will seriously try to get scared.
I am writing from California, and I hope you will not take it badly when I say that perhaps if you lived somewhere other than Norway, like New York, London or Tel Aviv, you might sleep just a little less well than you do today.
Bjørn Stærk | 2004-07-18 13:58 | Link
Anders: “As long as the Prophet is in this IS scathing criticism. If you say Jesus is an idiot and then go on to argue that you are only targeting certain people you will still insult everyone who likes jesus. I am surprised that you don't see this.”
But I do see that, and that phrasing was stupid. That's not the question. Everyone agrees that if you say that Muhammed didn't care for children, all Muslims in the world will be offended. Hagen shouldn't say things like that, especially when he doesn't mean it. Which is my point – that's just not what he meant. I'll qoute both paragraphs again:
“The content [of the Koran and the Bible] is different in many ways. We Christians are deeply concerned with children. Jesus said, 'let the small children come to me.' I can't imagine that Muhammed could have said the same thing. [laughter] If he had, it would have been 'Let the small children come to me, so I can exploit them in my struggle to Islamify the world.'
Because that is what is happening. Children are being actively used. When you send twelve or fourteen year olds into the Intifada to throw rocks, you're almost begging for one of them to be shot, so you can show it on CNN and NRK. They're using these children, and what kind of morality, what kind of religion, is it that tells parents that it is a great honor to have their children killed by Israelis? They become martyrs, and the parents receive great honor, for they have sacrificed their children to the struggle.”
Instead of pointing out the obvious – Muslims are offended when you say Muhammed didn't care for children – you should explain to me why, based on both these paragraphs, you claim that Hagen _actually belives this to be true_, and isn't just clumsily using a Bible quote to underscore a contrast to the abuse of children in the intifada.
“OK, Saudi Arabia. Islamists. Are they about to conquer the world? Are they preparing for Islamist world domination in the shadows? How about Sudan”
Well they've certainly conquered Saudi Arabia and Sudan, haven't they? As well as much of Nigeria, and other African countries, plus at least a big foot inside the door among Europe's Muslims. These are true statements, and they match what Hagen said in the speech. Why do you insist on caricature (“about to conquer the world”, “preparing for Islamist world domination in the shadows”) and straw man retorts? What he said is right here in the open, and at no point does Hagen entertain paranoid fantasies about anyone “about to conquer the world”. Islamist have said they _plan_ to conquer the world, and they have said they _want_ to destroy Israel. They _have_ made progress in Africa and Europe. Facts that are as easy to check as the text of Hagen's speech.
“I know several third generation "Muslims" and most of them drink alcohol. Expose the Islamists to booze for a couple of generations and you get interesting results.”
That's great for them, and for us. Do you believe that if some Muslims act in a certain way, then it follows that all do? Neither do I. Which is why it shouldn't be necessary for us to disagree that just as some Muslims who come to the West adapt nicely to Western values, others revolt against all that is Western. They're the ones I'm worried about. Your reply here just demonstrates the logical fallacy “it's not true that some A are B, because I know that some A are C”.
a Reader | 2004-07-18 20:24 | Link
What Hagen said about Muhammad was stupid. There is no recorded instance of Muhammad being hostile to children. He did not sanction the use of children in warfare; the "cut-off" age for a holy warrior in Islam was 15, according to the hadith. Under 15 was not allowed to go on the jihad.
However Muhammad should be criticized for the things that he indisputably did do, according to Islam's major primary texts: make his living as a warlord and a pirate; start offensive wars with people because he wanted to steal their land and properties; own slaves and start wars in order to get more slaves; order the assasinations of political rivals and even of people simply for making fun of him; and act as the sexual libertine with women, some of them slaves who had no choice but to submit, after his older, wealthy wife died.
If we lose the capability of criticizing Muhammad, we lose the capability of being Western. Muhammad is NOT Jesus. He did not lead a blameless, pacifistic life. He is NOT a good role model for the world, anymore than Chairman Mao or Josef Stalin.
Read about his life and what he did before you automatically put him in the same category as Jesus or Buddha or Confuscious.
Anders, Oslo | 2004-07-18 21:06 | Link
How do you know he doesn't mean it? Do you know Hagen personally? Or have you asked him about this particular matter? As the Kristiansand incident shows, there are people within Hagen's party who have even worse conceptions of Islam than what Hagen said. Hagen stated after the speech: "I haven't offended anyone now have I?" Couldn't he remeber what he had said when that comment was made?
I don't see the relveance with your A B and C argument. My argument is that it is possible and even likely that the moderate forces within Islam will triumph over radical perversions and distortion of Islam. Many people in this forum (you may be more moderate there Bjørn) argue as if that is not even a possibility.
Sandy P | 2004-07-19 00:58 | Link
Anders, do you read jihadwatch.org?
Maybe you might get some sleepless nights.
When someone tells you he intends to kill you, believe him.
Oh, that's right, they only want to kill Americans and Jews.
Sandy P | 2004-07-19 01:05 | Link
--the crazy Islamists who most Muslims think are maniacs too.--
So, why aren't the "moderate muslims" denouncing/disavowing them, Anders?
| 2004-07-19 11:20 | Link
Sandy and Bjørn:
"So, why aren't the "moderate muslims denouncing/disavowing them, Anders?"
You do have a point here. I would like to see more active genuine engagement on that front. But it's not non-existent. Bjørn pointed towards Saudi Arabia when I asked him for the most dangerous Islamist states. The "Islamists" authorities in Saudi Arabia are actually contributing to some extent in the war on terrorism. They are rounding up Al Qaeda members within their borders. When Wahabists do that Bjørn and Sandys's arguments appear in a different light.
Why aren't they contributing more? Well, I am sad to say, that I think part of the problem lies within the nature of the war in Iraq. Richard Clarke writes:
"We invaded and occupied an oil-rich Arab country that posed no threat to us.... We delivered to Al Qaeda the greatest recruitment propaganda imaginable and made it difficult for friendly Islamic governments to be seen working closely with us"
Some exaggeration here, but the last sentece is of MASSIVE importance. The all-time low perception of the USA in the Arab world makes the War on terrorism an even more demanding task. It is a bold task for moderate Arabs and Muslims to say: "I am siding with the coalition and the USA on this one".
This situation is not likely to change as long as the United States continues to support any kind of aggressive anti-terror policy Israel chooses.
It's a bad situation, but I refuse to eliminate US foreign policy as a factor in creating antagonism towards the US in the Middle East.
Eyal, Israel | 2004-07-19 12:26 | Link
"The "Islamists" authorities in Saudi Arabia are actually contributing to some extent in the war on terrorism. They are rounding up Al Qaeda members within their borders. When Wahabists do that Bjørn and Sandys's arguments appear in a different light."
Keep in mind that they only began seriously doing that fairly recently, when the terrorists turned on them. As long as their activities were outside the Kingdom, Saudi mostly turned a blind eye.
Anders, Oslo | 2004-07-19 12:35 | Link
I agree with that Eyal. It nevertheless underlines the fact that change is possible. Eternal conflict and radicalization of Islam is not the only option. The pendulum swings back and forth. A tide of moderation may follow the tide of radicalization.
kjell | 2004-07-19 20:16 | Link
Back in the good ol' seventies the terrorists, including the arab ones, were marxists.
Sandy P | 2004-07-19 20:39 | Link
--"The "Islamists" authorities in Saudi Arabia are actually contributing to some extent in the war on terrorism. They are rounding up Al Qaeda members within their borders. When Wahabists do that Bjørn and Sandys's arguments appear in a different light."
Self preservation is a strong motivation. They don't want to end up like the Romanovs, Cesceskeu (sp) and Mussolini.
Bjørn Stærk | 2004-07-20 14:09 | Link
Anders: “How do you know he doesn't mean it? Do you know Hagen personally? Or have you asked him about this particular matter?”
I say that based on reading the rest of the speech. The topic is clearly Israel, and the Muslim extremists they're up against. Only a really unfavorable reading (ie a literal reading of lone sentences without context) can make this into an argument against all Islam. You have to ignore the overall topic (Israel) as well as the part where Hagen explicitly states that he's talking about “fundamentalists”.
“As the Kristiansand incident shows, there are people within Hagen's party who have even worse conceptions of Islam than what Hagen said.”
Yes, worse. And Hagen disagrees with what they said, and has stated that these are not the views of the Progress Party. What does that tell you about the views of Hagen compared to those of real Islamophobes?
“I don't see the relveance with your A B and C argument. My argument is that it is possible and even likely that the moderate forces within Islam will triumph over radical perversions and distortion of Islam.“
Actually, your argument was that my “paranoia” about Islam was unfounded because you know some third generation Muslims who drink alcohol. So when I say that some Muslims are Islamists, you call me paranoid because some Muslims also drink alcohol. Which shows what? To make this an argument for the long term victory of moderate Islam, you need more than anectdotal evidence. Of third generation Muslims who live in the West, how many are more Western than their parents, and how many are less? To what degree does this depend on outside factors such as the size of Muslim communities, their origin, their relationship with the host culture, etc?
But even if you can show that moderate Islam is likely to win, I'm not sure that is relevant. If moderate, Western Islam wins over Islamism, it will be because Muslims and others actively fight Islamism, in the same way that the West won over Nazism by actively fighting it, (first with weapons, then with ideas). Which is Hagen's point, that we must fight Islamism.
A new Nazi organization is formed in Norway, and attracts kids from your neighbourhood. Do you A) ignore them, because Nazism is unlikely ever to gain power in Norway, or B) launch a campaign of counter-information against them through schools, newspapers etc, because it is right, and because for Nazism not to gain power other citizens must actively oppose it?
“Bjørn pointed towards Saudi Arabia when I asked him for the most dangerous Islamist states. The "Islamists" authorities in Saudi Arabia are actually contributing to some extent in the war on terrorism. They are rounding up Al Qaeda members within their borders. When Wahabists do that Bjørn and Sandys's arguments appear in a different light.”
Which part of my argument is that, the one where I say that Islamism is strong in Saudi Arabia, or the part where I say that we must actively fight Islamism? Islamism is strong in Saudia Arabia, but there are some internal differences between the more idealistic Islamists and the cynical ruling class Islamists. And to the degree that they're not strong, it's because they are being opposed. So we should oppose them too.
“The all-time low perception of the USA in the Arab world makes the War on terrorism an even more demanding task. It is a bold task for moderate Arabs and Muslims to say: "I am siding with the coalition and the USA on this one".”
You're asking for the US to take a huge risk: Don't be so tought on terrorism, because then you'll offend the cynical, authoritarian apologists of terrorism in the Arab world. I don't believe in taking that chance. The Arab leaders are not idealists who weigh the moral aspects of their decisions, and whose promary objection to the war on terror is ethical disagreement with the US. They are power hungry dictators who pander to Islamists and anti-semites to stay in power. The Islamists hate the Americans no matter what, so even if the Americans weren't so tough on terrorism, there would still be a considerable risk for those who want to support them. I don't think that chance is worth taking. I think it is better to do what is obviously right and necessary, and let those who want sign up if they want.
Sandy P | 2004-07-20 19:35 | Link
Anders - on drinking alcohol, there was a story in the WSJ last week on Afghanistan and the former brewery.
Even members of the Taliban would come surreptitiously to get alcohol.
Doesn't make them moderate.
Just because the casino in Jericho is/was booming - and I don't mean by splodydopes and flying body parts, doesn't make them moderate.
Or the 14 Syrians recently checked who were playing in a band and gigging at a casino.
I know a Baptish who smoked. Big deal.
a Reader | 2004-07-21 23:34 | Link
Anders wrote: "The pendulum swings back and forth. A tide of moderation may follow the tide of radicalization."
Even "moderate" Islam is not anything you would want to live with. Here's a rough guide:
"Liberal" Islam equals moderately strict Christian "fundamentalist."
"Moderate" Islam = extremist "fundamentalist" Christian.
"Radical" Islam = Torquemada.
Anders, Oslo | 2004-07-22 23:08 | Link
Bjørn: Actually, I think that it's you who doesn't see the context of the speech Bjørn. You remove the speech from the long political, opportunistic legacy of Hagen. In which minorities have had their dignity trounced on a regular basis. You just look at this one speech, disregard the parts that are viciously propagandistic and say that it's a fair statement.
I consider the speech as another chapter in Hagen's cynical speech-collecting career. I will grant you that Hagen is one of the best rhetoricians in Norway today. And just the fact that he is a very good speaker, makes me suspicous with letting him off with...opppsss...those remarks just slipped out of me. I think he knew what he was doing, and I think he will succeed in getting xenophobic elements of society to vote for him once again. Racists don't read dementies.
"Which part of my argument is that," you ask. I will try to explain:
You copy Hagen's argument: Beware of Islamism. It's coming for us! It's in Africa.
I read Mein Kampf when I went to high school. (No wonder I'm a looney :-)) The book's allowed in Norway, and heaven forbid it be banned!! What a source to understand the most freaky ideology of all time! What's forbidden in Norway is to have a political party that has a nazist ideology. They will not be allowed to participate in elections.
The same was not the case with Marxism and communism. They have been allowed to participate (and fail miserably) in elections. This is part of the reason why we have never had any political violence from the left in Norway. But we have had it from the right. Maybe we should have let them run in the elections so that they would also have failed miserably and appear as losers just as the commies did?? If you can't compete politically, you are more prone to "compete" violently.
Torkill Bruland | 2004-08-07 06:00 | Link
Anders wrote: Actually, I think that it's you who doesn't see the context of the speech Bjørn. You remove the speech from the long political, opportunistic legacy of Hagen.
Anders, you need to distingish between news and comments, and between fact and your personal and private opinions. An especially if you are a new reporting reporter, you should not confuse these things.
When newspapers are reporting on a speech they should distinguish between what is actually said and what they in their personal and private opinion think about the speech. Their own reactions should have nothing to do with their reporting. They should report the fact, and not confuse the facts with their personal opinions or what Carl I Hagen said with what in the medias interest to manipulate the public into believing.
But in norway most newspapers are established as "party papers". We've had a situation where news reporting has been run by the political parties. And we have had a system where tyhe political parties in power have used public money to gain support their own newspapers. And this situation has been intellectually corrupting. Most norwegian editors today is unaware of the distintion between news and comments.
Anders, Oslo | 2004-08-07 10:29 | Link
Bjørn and Torkill:
In literature analysis it is common to distinguish between those who think that the history of the speaker, his literary legacy and life should be considered when doing an analysis and those who don't. Some say that we should ONLY read the text and consider what's actually written. This position argues that we might end up with reading a lot of things into the texts who don't belong there, and we may water down the quality of the work and distort the message that is being conveyed. I sense that you both belong to this latter category... I don't. This is not a right or wrong divide, but rather a question of method of analysis and point of departure.
Now, regarding propaganda analysis or analysis of political rhetoric I have never seen any serious approaches demanding that we disregard the context. In most propaganda analysis (like the most common one stemming from Jowett & O'Donnell) a separate step in the analysis is: "The context in which the propaganda occurs". My point is that if we want to analyze political speeches we HAVE TO consider the entire complexity surrounding the speech. If we analyze literature we can choose to shut-out the rest of the world and enjoy word by word without any external interferences.
Media is biased. The divide between news and commentary is not a divide between subjective and objective reporting. I agree that it would indeed be great if reporters were able to eliminate their own opinions completely from their work. But I don't think that's possible. So I think that what is more realistic to hope for is transparency of opinion-based sections. I fully agree that there is a lack of that in many media channels. From "Marxist papers" to FoxNews. And if I have a fairly accurate conception of the phenomenon blogs, this last point is the main reason why most of them exist. But this is prinarliy an illusion, since blogs on the whole are far more biased than most media are :-)
Bjørn Stærk | 2004-08-07 15:08 | Link
Anders: "My point is that if we want to analyze political speeches we HAVE TO consider the entire complexity surrounding the speech."
Yes, and that's why I interpret the speech the way I have. Seen by itself, the Muhammed statement can be either (as I believe) a poor example meant to point towards abuse of children by an extremist subset of Islam, or as a condemnation of all Muslims as potential Child abusers. In context of the full speech, it is still possible to draw the second conclusion. Perhaps Hagen hates all of Islam, but reserved most of this speech for the kinds of Islam he hates most.
But in the larger context both of what I perceive to be Hagen and FrP's philosophy, and what I know about others who talk in the same way about Islamist terrorism, I conclude that the second interpretation is unlikely. I suspect you're coming at this from too far away to be aware of the nuances of Islam criticism. You have a stereotype of the Islam hating far rightist which you apply to people who strongly dislike parts of Islam, much the same way right-wingers often talk lazily about "socialists".
My suggestion to you is to investigate the nuances of Islam criticism. Perhaps there are more of them than you think.
Anders, Oslo | 2004-08-09 10:00 | Link
"investigate the nuances of Islam criticism"
I am not too keen on the concept of Islam criticism. I think that starting out with an idea of criticism is the wrong path to better understanding and common ground between the moderates within Islam, Christianity etc.. If we start out with the idea that: This, and this and this..is WRONG with your religion. Do something about it! it won't work. People will stop listening to you after the second 'this'.
There are many elements to Islam that I personally am skeptical about. But I have little to gain by smashing that right in the face of any Muslim I meet. The Sharia laws are for instance in material breach with human rights. Women's Rights, public executions, harsh treatment for converts and the tendency to put religous laws above all other laws.
I think that you and I are extremely badly equipped to do anything with Islamist extremists. The only ones truly fit for this task are moderate Muslims. So therefore I strive to establish friendly relations and mutual understanding with moderates. 'Cause if they succeed and get the upper hand, this potential clash of civilization might be avoided, and if not avoided, it might be a battle of ideas within Islam.
Who are WE to come forward and tell THEM how to excercise THEIR religion? That's what you keep doing Bjørn, and that's often referred to as cultural imperialism.
| 2004-08-12 09:14 | Link
Blogging is not news reporting. News reporting is not blogging, and should not be confused with opinion either. News reporting should be about reporting the facts in an accurate way and not about twisting and turning facts to the advantage of ones own political parties.
That objective news reporting is not absolutely objective, and that absloute objectivity is impossible to attain, thats no reason not to distinguish between objective and subjective genres. On the contrary that's a good reason to distiguish between news and comments.
We all have or own political idiosyncracies and egocentricities. That one good reason not confuse news and comments. It's arrogance, hubris, for news papers to thin they are in the posession of the absolute and definitive truth and therefore that they where in the position to interprete facts on behalf of the public, and that the public had no need to think and judge for themselves. Norwegian news media operates as if they where in such a position when they blur the distinction between news and comment. But their role in modern democracy is more humble than that. They are messengers of the public. They should report accurately, awoid deceitful omissions, an they should leave it to commentators and the public to contextualize what they are reporting.
That an ideal or value is not absolutely attainable, is not a reason to disregard it completely as it is done in the norwegian news media. There's a lot of ideals and values that are not absolutely attainable. But that's not a very good argumet for not trying to be objective, and any messanger should aim at objectivity.
Blogging is opinion. And if bloggers are not reporting news objectively thats no reason for news papers not to try to do so. But I am afraid thats a commen and favorite fallacy (ad hominem tu quoquo) among norwegians news editors and reporters. They seem to think it is great thinking.
Also, one should distinguish between literary analysis and news reporting. Litterary analysis is not news reporting and news reporting should not be litterary analysis. News reporters should about report fact and make it possible for the public to form their own opinions of the facts, and understand and contextualize it on their own behalf. New media should not try to pose as if it where an elected representative public. On the contrary as it is the voters role to be the public in a modern democracy, news papers should distinguish between news and comments.
It's not the role of journalists, reporters and editors to think, make political judgements, and select between political alternatives - in lieu of or on behalf of the public.
But in Norway, since most news papers was eestablished as "party papers", the parties have been the managers of norwegian news reporting. But hte parties did not manage to resist the temptation to use the power given them by the voters for one period at the time. They used the taxpayer money to support their own news papers and to attain power over the public oppinion.
The same is true for public broadcasting. The government brodcasting corporation had a monopoly for 40 years, and it had only one sponsor, the Parliament. And thereby theri economic and vested interest was to influence composition of the parliament, to consolidate the situation it profited from.
I think that these two things is the main reasons why news reporting in norway is intellectually corrupted.
Morgane New Zealand | 2004-09-04 11:08 | Link
Bravo Carl Hagen! Although not a Christian[or a Jew] agree with just about everything you have said. Not for you wishy washy PC terms of 'Militants', 'Insurgents' or such, you firmly
Sally Spedding | 2004-09-13 01:29 | Link
If we cannot speak out about our deep fears for the future of this world then our descendants won't thank us.
Leonard, Canada | 2004-09-17 01:26 | Link
If it is a bad thing to be anti-Muslim, then call me bad.
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Ilyan | 2004-12-30 21:56 | Link
The root of most of the trouble in the world today is Religion.
Attend to what Thomas Jefferson said:
Those who take money for publicly professing Religion should be extirpated. Then perhaps we could continue to live in this Heaven we have been given to live our lives in and it will no longer be turned into Hell.
Pity people are also destroying this planet's ability to support Life. Those who destroy this Creation might be quite surprised at any life they get hereafter.
Sensi, Paris | 2004-12-31 10:23 | Link
@ Leonard, Canada | 2004-09-17
You just have to check at some history facts...(maybe start with your own religion?)
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Jack, Chicago | 2006-02-09 04:45 | Link
To Anders, RE: cultural imperialism
Cultural imperialism is a dying fad and vestige of post-colonial angst. Here in the US, academic opinion is swinging (by swinging, I mean the opinions of students, not gray-haired professors) towards universal human rights. And wherever universal human rights butt up against local culture, local culture should give way. Decry me as a boorish American, but that's the story and the faster you accomodate yourself to shifting norms the better off you'll be.
By the way, there is an excellent historical example of universal human rights, what you may refer to as cultural imperialism, being forced upon Muslims at gunpoint. In the mid-nineteenth century, the British army destroyed all of the slave entrepots along the West African coast, disrupting the livelihood, culture, and precious folkways of the Muslim slave traders. As a result, and following the American Civil War, slavery was essentially exterminated from the developed world.
Would you that had not happened, for the sake of the slave traders' culture?
The point is that Muslim women, children, gays, etc. all stand to benefit by the spreading of Western culture into Islamic areas. The only ones who stand to lose are the grown men, a minority. The utility of this equation is overwhelming. What do the truly boorish Muslim men have in their defense?
They were colonized by white guys once, so I guess that gives them carte blanche to do anything they want for the rest of time...
Ronald | 2006-04-25 14:18 | Link
We Christians have been tolerant for too long. It's high time the world stopped pussyfooting to these Muslims. If they can kill at will, we should kill them too. Sounds bad, but that's the way it is. If not stopped, Islam will spread all over the world. And Muslim law is: "Either accept Islam or be killed". We don't want our women behind veils. We don't want bearded fanatics killing us at random and making our women slaves. We need to control all this before it is too late. A few more years and the problem will go out of control.
What needs to be done, should be done. The plea that "all muslims are not fanatics" doesn't hold good. Because those that are fanatics are enough to ruin this world. So it is for the Muslims to find out those amongst them that are fanatics and eradicate them. Or else pay the price. The time to be good to them is over. We are all scared of them Muslims.
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Phlegma weblog: When the shit hits the fan, July 15, 2004 09:36 AM
Progress Party leader Carl I. Hagen in Norway launched an attack on Islam Tuesday. Thanks to BjÃ¸rn StÃ¦rk you can read the speech here and in English here. The content [of the Koran and the Bible] is different in many
Israpundit: Norwegian Party Leader in trouble for "anti-Muslim" remarks, July 16, 2004 03:31 AM
From Bjorn Staerk In fact, Progress Party leader Carl I. Hagen only said what so many others actually think. A few excerpts: "Israel has fought many wars. In my opinion, all those wars were wars of defense, and a war...
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