Very thoughtful and well-written, @Powerpuff . Color me impressed.
Since the word bigot was thrown in I thought I would provide the actual definition.
a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.
Being a bigot by definition has nothing to do with race. All it means is if you kick me in the nuts because blue is my favorite color but yellow is yours…you are a bigot. Just saying.
Thank you. And thanks for taking the time to read it.
People here have been overwhelmingly respectful and kind. It’s probably impossible to talk politics and religion in depth without some heat, or even the occasional flame war, but I assume goodwill and genuine intellectual curiosity most of the time. I can think of a few times where someone has hurt my feelings or really offended me, but I’d guess even then it was may have been more own sensitivities or misunderstanding, instead of real spite on their part.
@Tarheelboy - Thanks. We often use throw these terms around in an interchangeable way. I guess I’d add "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial, ethnic, or religious group) with hatred and intolerance.
Yeah. Thinking out loud here a bit.
In Europe and with regard to Muslim immigration, countries like France have obligations to colonies like Algeria who may have sacrificed for French interests. I can see how valuing them is in a sense valuing people who fell under French control. That’s an older situation, and it’s easier for people to relate to.
On the other hand we have this global emergency with people fleeing for their lives from groups like ISIS. It’s not only a situation of national responsibilities vs global interests. AND we have a group of refugees, a large percentage of them, who hold very un-western ideas about freedom. It’s one thing to say, we don’t discriminate based on religion, but we have a group - some of which anyway - have no tolerance at all for MY religion, hold beliefs that don’t mesh well with American or European Culture… “the primacy of the rule of law; the sanctity of personal rights, faith in the democratic process.”
That’s why I put this thread up, because I can’t decide what to think.
Part of me sees this large population of really nice Persians in my area and I think I’d really want to help them if they were having a huge humanitarian crisis. They’re nice, ordinary people raising families here. Many have become Christians, or are really secular, I just don’t see any extremism to worry about. Does anyone know why that group of Muslim immigrants seems to have been so successful at immigrating to the US? @loppar? I’d guess they were already more affluent, educated, and Westernized but I don’t know a lot about the history of these different parts of the Middle-East. A friend of mine was a college student here when the Shah fell and she never returned there to live. She told me that the Iran of her youth was already very Western in terms of culture, dress, education of women…
Anyway, then I read about the radical jihadists and I wonder what we’re supposed to do, and I feel some empathy for people in Europe who are afraid, and who worry about preserving their freedoms or culture. My church does not take a political stand on specific immigration policies, numbers etc… BUT we are involved, along side many other relief groups, in tremendous humanitarian aid to the refugees there. My local congregation just shipped containers full of coats and blankets.
@Powerpuff I hear ya but unfortunately we don’t get to add to Websters definitions of words. It’s pretty much the authority on those things.
That’s because they’re shias. Basically, what we call islam is two (some would argue three) separate religions, shia and sunni who hate each other. I mean, really hate each other. ISIS are constantly committing suicide terror attacks against shias (the latest one in Sadr City) but you don’t hear much about that in the media.
The major sunni power (Saudi Arabia) and the major shia power (Iran) are waging a two front war (Syria and Yemen).
Although the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran is a dictatorial regime that sponsors terror group such as Hezbollah, they’re more similar to the late USSR. Also, their religious structure is vertical, which means that everything from politics to religion is decided on the very top in Tehran. Hence, they do not have something similar to salafi (radical) islam. No shia will ever blow himself up on his own, and especially not a Persian. Not to mention the fact they lack the proselytizing element.
And historically, when someone does blow himself up, it means that was decided in Tehran at the Council of Guardians.
And with the current detente, civilian targets are off limits, even inside the Middle East.
The chances of your Persian neighbors committing a terrorist attack are zero, but it’s a non-zero chance they end up victims of such an attack because salafi sunni islam (what we call radical islam) hates shias even more (yes, it’s possible) than Christians and Jews.
In short, you can come to an understanding with a shia. With a sunni, you can’t.
At the risk of sounding like a prick-
Women and children, old and frail first. If you are of able body and fighting age male, pick up a gun and fight your oppressors.
I had a conversation along these lines about a week ago with my brother. Service to our country is very important in my family. They aren’t willing to fight and die for their country of origin, which any able bodied American is expected to do. They don’t get to come in. Military service is also a pathway to citizenship, and they are free to enlist. Any way you slice it, they need to have some skin in this game, which they currently do not.
Also, having high concentrations that dilute or completely overtake natives is a big mistake. They need to be dispersed so that entire sections of cities don’t become havens like they have through out Europe. Close enough that they can all get to the mosques around town, sure. So close that they can, as a group riot against police, attack citizens, and attempt to declare sharia law? No way.
Ah, here’s the problem - you’re thinking in terms of “countries”. Middle East thinks in terms of religions. “Syria” is a Western invention as is the adjective “Syrian”. There are no “Syrian patriots”. There are shias, sunnis and Kurds (Kurds are sunni, but other sunnis hate them so they’re considered a special category). Shia is a shia, regardless whether he’s from Lebanon, Iraq or Syria.
As far as migrant makeup is concerned it’s something like this. 20% are actually from Syria, sunnis who didn’t want to get forcibly conscripted in a shia Syrian Army (and used as cannon fodder) and decided to try out life in the West. The other are economic migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Africa.
The importance of this, and the role it played in creating the havoc currently roiling the ME, cannot be overstated. In the early 20th century, European colonial powers (principally the British and French) drew essentially arbitrary lines across the map of the ME, divvying up the Ottoman Empire into spheres of influence (one British, one French), and subdividing the spheres into countries. As @loppar intimates, the result was an incohesive mishmash of tribal and sectarian groups forced to live together within artificial borders that meant nothing to them (other than representing the colonial boot on their neck). The ME has been a mess ever since.
Ok. Change country of origin to homeland then. Doesn’t change that they turned and ran in the face of tyranny.
No skin in their home game and none in ours. They can go become the new gypsies throughout Europe for all I care. Although, if any decide to swim across- they’ve definitely earned a place on our shore.
Phelps may not have many gold medals left in him.
You can’t apply Western concepts such as “tyranny” into the Middle East. This type of reasoning where you apply concepts or experiences onto completely different circumstances and cultures caused the rise of the Taliban and the chaos of post-invasion Iraq.
You remember back in the eighties when the Mujahedin in Afghanistan were “freedom fighters” fighting a “foreign occupier”. Or in Iraq’s case, that once you remove a tyrant the oppressed masses will be eternally grateful for overthrowing him and establish a liberal free market democracy. That’s Donald Rumsfeld thinking and look where it brought Iraq.
I’ll illustrate this example with choices facing Arab Christians in Syria and Iraq, for example. There are (or were) millions of Christians in the Middle East many of them speakers of Aramaic, the language of the New Testament.
Now look at the factions in Syria and what they have to offer.
ISIS - instant death. Probably by burning or decapitation.
FSA/rebels/Al Qaida - almost instant death. You’d be beheaded or shot after a due legal process. So it’s an improvement of sorts compared to ISIS.
The Kurds - “You’re an Arab. We have Arabs but since you’re a Christian you get a pass. Now kindly get the fuck out of Kurdish controlled area into Assad’s territory. If you stay too long, ask annoying questions about what happens to Christian villages in Kurdish territory or behave as a general nuisance, you’ll get a bullet in the head”. Indifferent at best, a bullet potentially awaits.
Assad. Since Alawites and shias are at a numerical disadvantage, the policy of Iran was to force Assad to make as many allies as possible, including Christians. Congratulations! You’re now in the service of a tyrant that gasses civilians with chlorine and kills them with barrel bombs! But the caveat is that you and your loved ones are alive, thanks to the murderous dictator whom you’re supposed to overthrow. Incidentally, many SAF chopper pilots who drop barrel bombs onto sunni neighborhoods are Christian. If you can you’ll try to flee westwards.
And now someone from the West comes and starts talking some BS about “tyranny” and “taking arms against oppressors” which is completely disconnected from facts on the ground and day-to-day choices people living there face.
That doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of migrants coming into Europe are rent seeking young men, but that’s Angela Merkel’s responsibility for announcing the equivalent of the “come to my house food and lodgings free” post on Facebook and subsequent amazement that Afghan tribesmen don’t respect women’s rights and have problems with following fundamental laws.
The concept applies when it is applied.
Lets say I have a fundamental problem with numbers, and for what ever reason do not acknowledge that they even exist. Does that mean that they don’t exist?
The rest of the world around me uses them for everything, but I just have a bunch of objects which are incalculable in amount or value. So I take this mystery to the market and want to exchange it for something else which others have enumerated and valued. Now at the market, I feel it is unfair that I don’t get what I want for what I have, so I start blowing up kiosks.
Who is the asshole in that situation? Me or the market?
Just letting you guys know that I had a chance to read your responses this morning. Thank you so much.
I had this much down, in terms of these different branches. I have students from Qatar who I knew were Sunni, but I’m seeing very bright, affluent high school kids and teachers on a mini-university holiday experience to the US. I don’t know a lot about the differences in terms of why people become radicalized. Just a current events aside, my kids didn’t come last year. Yep. We can guess why they are seem to be staying home. We have many Saudi families who come here on vacation in July and August, again we’re seeing very wealthy people.
To the group -
I talked to a couple of friends about books related to the history of the Middle East this morning. I was laughing a little bit. I read a “short book about Islam” last year - It’s NOT a short story. Ha! I can’t recall the author but it was some free amazon prime thing, and it obviously didn’t give me a great grasp on the topic. I haven’t tried very hard to really understand all the players in the Syrian crisis because it’s frankly so confusing, and newspaper articles often assume that you understand already, or are just too brief to really get what’s going on.
I will start a book group thread when I have a little more time and maybe some of you can give me a few ideas.
To the topic. I swear, everyday in the WSJ I see something about nationalism. This was interesting. Catholics coalescing in France.
"In France, the strict separation between personal faith and public life, known as laïcité, is a pillar of national identity. However, a confluence of events—from the legalization of gay marriage to the more recent string of Islamist terror attacks—has many conservative voters looking to the country’s Christian heritage as a bulwark.
Mr. Fillon’s candidacy is seizing on that impulse. In publicly embracing his faith, the 62-year-old is tapping a wellspring of Catholic voters who have begun coalescing into a potentially decisive voting bloc.
His performance during the country’s first-ever conservative primaries provided the clearest sign yet of the revived Catholic vote. After lagging behind rivals for weeks, Mr. Fillon spent the homestretch of the race debating opponent Alain Juppé over which of them stood closer to the teachings of Pope Francis—a development Le Monde described as “unprecedented.”
More than two-thirds of the people who voted in the primaries described themselves as Catholic in exit polls, and they helped hand Mr. Fillon a commanding victory. Pollster OpinionWay said 83% of Catholics who regularly attend Mass voted for Mr. Fillon and 68% of nonpracticing Catholics also backed him. Between 55%-60% of the overall French electorate identifies as Catholic, according to Jerome Fourquet, director of polling firm IFOP…
The Catholic vote is shaping up to play an unusually prominent role in the general election in May, when polls predict Mr. Fillon will face-off against Marine Le Pen , leader of the far-right anti-immigrant and anti-euro National Front party.
Many conservative Catholics shifted to the National Front during recent regional elections, feeling more at home with its call for revived nationalism than with the pro-EU principles—free movement of people and goods—espoused by other parties.
A quarter of self-described practicing Catholics voted for the National Front in December 2015 regional elections, up from 16% in local races in March of that year, according to IFOP.
Mr. Fillon’s Catholicism reassures voters who want to show support for French traditions. “The National Front has made a lot of progress with this group,” said Mr. Fourquet. “They could come back to the center-right with Fillon.”
On the first point, I have seen it since its inception. Ioppar probably gets less of it in his part of the world, but when I and others called for caution with regards to the refugees, I became persona non grata for months. Even now, after I correctly predicted the outcome and diagnosed how poor our refugee framework was for such a problem, only a few of my friends have doen the requisite mea culpas.
As to your second point, the policies are not that much less open here. Europe has the former East bloc member states whose economies are not dissimilar from Mexico’s. The frustration among the working and tradesman class is no small part of what drove the Brexit vote.
Vetting is and remains a joke. There is no “robust vetting” when the documents needed to vet so simply don’t exist. Run it in worldcheck, the CIA databases, the terror watch lists. All are utterly worthless without accurate records and a matching system of recording and accurate identity documents. So any influx from the region will pose risks.
Ioppar has addressed this, but the success of Islamic integration depends in large part to the sect of the immigrant, the rate of arrival, and the policies of the host state regarding distribution. An insular and intolerant sect, that arrives at high rates, which is centralised in one area, produces precisely the type of ghettoes we see in France and the UK.
I would go further. Jews, Yazidis and Christians get the first life boats. Sunnis are at far lesser risk of outright genocide in Syria as it is, this should be reflected in who gets the first lifeboats.
Well, I thought this was another really interesting point of view. As most of you know, I think Trump is a brute. This blog post puts forth some interesting theories about men and some cultural shifts. It ties in the nationalist globalist topic a bit, and certainly a theory about the popularity of Trump. Thoughts? Pieces of this make sense to me, but maybe I should just quit trying to understand the Trump phenomenon.
Excellent! Or this true story.
A buddy had a keg party at his lake house while in high school. An attendee went to a public beach and announced this. Shortly, a truckload of bikers stopped in with the proclamation that they would be taking the beer.
The difference? The empty kegs were left in the yard the next day, but the new “citizens” of Europe will never leave.
Being muslim isnt like being gay. One is a choice and the other isn’t. I can’t stand that kind of muslim defence by essentialism.
I could also say we need to protect gay rights by not letting people from third world countries come in our country.
People need to fix their own country.
Mormons can fuck off too, but they are not as aggressive and trying to conquer like muslims so they are tolerable. I have never heard of mormons stoning cheating wives to death.