Thursday, May 7, 2009

They Don't Hate us for our Freedom

They hate us for our Corporatocracy, and the endless greed that goes with it.
Study: Poverty fueling Muslim tension with West

Associated Press Writer
May 7, 1:51 PM EDT

LONDON (AP) -- Joblessness and poverty are a more potent source of tension between Muslims and wider European and U.S. society than religious differences, one of the first major studies of Muslim integration since the Sept. 11 terror attacks claimed on Thursday.

Attacks by Islamic extremists on the United States, and European capitals like Madrid and London, have sparked debate about whether a failure of Muslims to integrate into Western society has fueled extremism and created divisions between communities.

But a study of around 10,000 people in 27 countries by the Gallup polling company claims non-Muslims - including the public and lawmakers - have misunderstood the attitudes of Muslims in the West, stifling attempts to promote better understanding. Muslims in the West are more patriotic, more tolerant and more likely to reject violence than the rest of Western society believes they are, the study claims...

The study found that only 10 percent of British Muslims consider themselves integrated into British society, compared to 46 percent of French Muslims and 35 percent of German Muslims. Mogahed, an Egyptian-American Muslim, said unemployment and access to education were key factors in isolating Muslims in the West.

The study found that 38 percent of British Muslims said they had a job, lower than the figure for the British general public - 62 percent - and lower than Muslims in Germany or France, where 53 percent and 45 percent respectively said they were employed. Mogahed said that Muslims, particularly in Britain and France, feel marginalized because they have more difficulty finding jobs than non-Muslims, and typically have lower incomes.

"Economic integration may become more precarious in light of the current financial crisis affecting Europe," she said. Another key finding of the study was that that Muslims don't prioritize their faith over patriotism, Mogahed said.

The study found that 77 percent of British Muslims feel a strong sense of British identity, compared to 50 percent of the country's non-Muslims. In France, around half of Muslims and non-Muslims say they feel a strong sense of patriotism...
And this just goes into Muslims who live in the west. They're discriminated against and people assume that they're really terrorists in disguise. I once knew a girl, she was Muslim and had a small child who was about three. All of them were American Citizens. Her family ran a convenience store and one day she told me that this older man came into the store, and when he saw her in her headscarf and the child, he pointed at the toddler and said something to the effect of "He'll grow up to be a terrorist too." I was appalled that someone would assume that because of one's religious persuasions that that automatically makes them a terrorist. Excuse me, but the kid's three. You don't even know if he'll have strong religious beliefs when he grows up. It's absolute, unadulterated ignorance and racism/ethnocentrism, and there's no excuse for it. How can you talk about a toddler like that? How cruel and stupid do you have to be? Is it any wonder that they don't feel integrated into society?

I mean, if you see an Irish Catholic, do you call his kid a terrorist because of the IRA? They blew people up over religion. Do you automatically assume such a thing? Or does it really have more to do with race as to why Muslims get hated on? After all, the Irish guy is white. And don't try that whole "the Koran is different than the Bible" argument, because that's bullshit. Both books are full of barbarity and god righteously ordering the smiting of this or that group of people. Indeed, a portion of the Koran is a retelling of the Bible with the names spelled differently, but no one has a problem with the Bible. Even the Bible says that you should kill unbelievers. Where's the outrage over that?
"If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again." Deuteronomy 13:6-11
Indeed, Christianity itself has historically been a violent religion. Just look at the Inquisition or the pogroms against Jews.

People forget that there are crazies in all walks of life, and while religious convictions (of any type) can fuel that, there are plenty of people who are just plain fucking crazy, and religion has nothing to do with it. Luckily, I think the majority of people, regardless of their religion are basically good people.

When society starts demonizing an entire group of people because of their religion or ethnicity, bad things follow. All one must do is look at history to see this.


  1. I just don't understand how people who believe in the Constitution and the freedoms we have can treat one segment of our society like this. Unless we are a descendant of one of the American Indian tribes, we, too, are a descendant of an immigrant. Picking out one group because of who they are is no different than what the Christians and Nazis have done to the Jews. And we, as a nation, have condemned that, and must condemn this, also.

  2. One of our famous American military heroes defended the killing of Indian babies with the phrase "Gnits make lice.." Only human vermin could say such a thing and pretend it's a valid statement. The Israelis have blown up countless Palestinian kids under the same lameassed logic, they just call it a war and explain that people die in wars. Laaaaame.

  3. I have to agree, AWQM, but also must raise a sticky point, in terms of Islamic integration in Europe in general.

    Let me start by saying: I am not taking one side or another-- just noting the following.

    There have been a lot of hard decisions to be made in their legal systems (for example, the Netherlands since 2006) about whether or not to allow Sharia Law to prevail over common law in cases of spousal abuse, spousal homicide, etc.

    Recall Geert Wilders was prosecuted per Sharia Law in the Dutch court system. In another case a father in Sweden killed his daughter because she was dating a westerner. She had taken him to court for abuse, the court gave her father a slap on the wrist and two years later, after continued abuse, he shot and killed her.

    There was also a case in England in which a father slit his daughter's throat because he, too, disapproved of her western boyfriend-- and act perfectly legal under Sharia Law.

    There's definitely an issue with poverty, to be sure and of course, racism and bigotry.

    But there are some religious laws that are more forcefully challenging public laws in the EU. The courts are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place in many of these cases. The trials get drawn out, accusations of religious persecution are made, etc.

    I don't know enough about it to take a side, but thought I might mention it.

  4. IMHO, the courts in Europe should not bend to religious pressure. If they do, it is up to the people who live there to protest that. I don't know enough about Sharia law to know whether or not some of these people take it out of context, or twist the meaning of it around to make it into what they want. Of what I know of it from my study of medieval history, which obviously isn't now, women in the Middle Ages in the Middle East had more rights than those in western Europe because of Islamic law, not in spite of it. Of course, that's obviously not the case now, but is it more to do with culture than with religion? That is an interesting debate.

    I think if you're going to come live in a country, you should follow it's laws, and not expect it's laws to bend to your religious persuasions. Otherwise you should have chosen another country where the law fit with your beliefs. There are some countries, like Indonesia I think it was, where Sharia courts deal with civil cases which apply only to Muslims (who I might add, want this law to apply to them), like property inheritance and divorce. They do not deal with criminal law. But again as I said, I too really don't know enough about it.

    I do know, as I said in the post, that there are crazies everywhere. There are women who have murdered their children because "god" was telling them that they were the spawn of Satan. But no one blames Christianity for that. We realize that they were obviously nuts. How many of these men who killed their kids were just crazy?

    To imply that men kill their offspring because of Sharia law, is ignoring all of the fathers who must love their daughters greatly in the Muslim world and would never do such a thing, law or no. Maybe I'm just being naive, but I think people are people.

  5. You are right, of course, that Sharia Law doesn't cause fathers to kill their daughters or abuse and kill their wives.

    And also the examples I gave would seem to ignore the millions of Muslim fathers and husbands who are not crazy (or fundamentalist in their social beliefs).

    I'll have to do some more research on this, because I, like you, think it is an interesting debate about whether or not this is more about culture than religion.

    Hope you have a good Saturday.


  6. "When society starts demonizing an entire group of people because of their religion or ethnicity, bad things follow.
    All one must do is look at history to see this."- Your quote

    "That's the problem with religions like Christianity."- Your quote.
    - - - - - - -
    Oops...all one must do is look at their own blog to see this.